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When To Keep Your Wisdom Teeth?

Most young adults are faced with the decision of what to do about their wisdom teeth. Wisdom teeth, also referred to as third molars, are the teeth that grow in at the furthest back position in both the upper and lower jaw on both sides usually in late teens or early twenties.

Many patients will have third molars grow in that never pose any problems. This is because they have sufficient jaw space to accommodate these four teeth and they grow in without creating overcrowding of remaining teeth.

Unfortunately, many young adults will be faced with wisdom teeth that do not grow in straight or create an issue with overcrowding that can produce an overbite or a malocclusion of another nature.

In addition, wisdom teeth can cause pain, infection, periodontal gum disease with loss of additional teeth, and even tumors and cysts.   In addition to these problems, wisdom teeth that do not grow correctly can become impacted. This means that the teeth are present, but are not breaking through gum tissue or not growing in properly. Patients with impacted wisdom teeth are usually referred to an oral surgeon for extraction. This is due to the fact that an oral surgeon sees patients all day long with impacted third molars and will be able to provide the most expedient procedure offering the patient general anesthesia “sedation” and a surgeon’s expertise and advice on whether or not to move forward with the procedure.

There are many schools of thought on how a patient should proceed regarding the question of saving or removing third molars. It is recommended that patients have their wisdom teeth removed to prevent the problems discussed above.

For patients that decide not to undergo extraction of their wisdom teeth, it is critically important to adhere to excellent oral hygiene habits of daily flossing and brushing to make sure the areas surrounding the third molars stay as bacteria-free as possible. Plaque build-up can lead to infection so if third molars are to be retained a professional cleaning and exam twice per year is strongly recommended to monitor and preserve the health of wisdom teeth.

Contact the office of Dr. Judd E. Partridge, serving South Jordan Utah and the surrounding areas, to schedule your wisdom tooth consultation today.

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