Regular teeth cleaning appointments are pivotal in ensuring the best possible health for teeth and gums. Not only are plaque and tartar removed during cleaning visits, x-rays are also taken and the condition of teeth is monitored. Should a patient still have all or some of their wisdom teeth, cleaning appointments are a great way for the dentist to make sure they are not impacted or infected.
The dentists and staff of Family First Dentistry always instruct their patients on the benefits of regular teeth cleaning appointments. Any and all impacted wisdom teeth are closely examined and monitored by the dentists and staff via x-ray and oral examination. Wisdom teeth issues and treatment plans are thoroughly discussed with patients in detail. In most cases, patients schedule an appointment for sedation dentistry to have the impacted teeth removed.
Wisdom teeth are commonly removed because though they may be located beneath the surface of the gums, third molars can still get cavities, abscesses, cysts, gum disease, and can damage adjacent teeth through crowding. In order to avoid a visit to the emergency dentist, many people opt to be proactive and have their wisdom teeth, or third molars, removed. The American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons recommends that young adults between the ages of 17 and 25 have their wisdom teeth evaluated for extraction.
A common question asked by those suffering from impacted wisdom teeth is why humans have third molars in the first place. Firstly, all wisdom teeth are not impacted. There are some who have all four, or at least two of their third molars come in somewhat crooked or completely straight. In those cases, it’s even more important that teeth cleaning appointments be scheduled regularly, as plaque and decay are more prominent in those hard to reach areas. Some lucky people are born with no wisdom teeth at all, or at least will not have a full set of them.
The simple answer to that age-old question is that before humans cooked their food, they mostly lived on plants, seeds, and nuts. Wisdom teeth existed to help grind down the food that was tougher to chew. Also, many experts in the field of evolution believe that primitive jaws were larger and could accommodate the extra space needed by third molars.
There are not always symptoms associated with impacted wisdom teeth. If there is pain with impaction, it usually stems from an infection within the gum that lies on top of the tooth. Common symptoms include pain, swollen and bleeding gums, swelling around the jaw, bad breath, headache, jaw ache, and an unpleasant taste when eating. In severe cases, the jaw stiffens and lymph nodes in the neck swell. An emergency dental visit is needed if any of these symptoms appear. Regular teeth cleanings and x-rays, however, help in the early detection of impacted teeth.
To learn more about Family First Dentistry or to schedule an appointment, visit their website or call their Anchorage, Alaska office at (907) 562-2820.