Wisdom comes with age, and so are our wisdom teeth. Over the years, we experience a lot of changes, including our teeth. As babies grow older, their milk teeth fall off, and a permanent set of teeth replace them. Then, the third molars usually appear during our teenage years.
However, some people experience having wisdom teeth a little late into their adult years. Nonetheless, it is important to visit a Townsville dental clinic or other ones for regular dental checkups as a part of oral health care. Here are some things you need to know about wisdom teeth.
What is a wisdom tooth?
Wisdom teeth are usually the last set of teeth that emerge. Perhaps it got its name because it usually occurs in adulthood, which supposedly we are “wiser” in life by that time. We have a total of three sets of molars. The first one appears around six years of age, while the second set of molars appear around 12 years old. Lastly, the third molars – also known as wisdom teeth – occurs in late teens to early adult years.
Studies reveal that more than 50 percent of people experience having wisdom teeth at some point in their adult lives. The same research also shows that males are more likely to have wisdom teeth than females. However, some people think they do not have it because it’s not visible yet except when they have their mouth X-rayed.
Should we worry about our wisdom teeth?
There is still a possibility that wisdom teeth can lead to oral health issues. But it depends on the growth of the wisdom tooth. In some cases, wisdom teeth become impacted that can cause problems in your oral health. Even enjoying your favorite food may be affected due to an impacted wisdom tooth.
Also, among common issues related to the growth of wisdom teeth include the following:
- Crowded or crooked teeth
- Higher risk of tooth decay
- Pain in the jaw area
- Possibility of the occurrence of gum cysts or tumor
In such cases, it is necessary to have your wisdom tooth removed. Wisdom teeth may have to be removed before any orthodontic treatments will be done, such as dental braces. Expect recovery to be painful, but it will subside over time. Likewise, you may have to take pain medications that will be recommended by your dentist in case of pain.
How to manage pain due to wisdom teeth
As mentioned, wisdom teeth may become painful, especially if it is impacted. However, some ways help alleviate the pain due to impacted wisdom teeth. Here are some tips you can do.
- Put an ice pack to your jaw area to provide relief from inflammation and pain. Apply the ice pack on your jaw area for about 15 minutes for relief and numbing effect.
- Gargle with saltwater. Studies show that rinsing your mouth using salt water can reduce the occurrence of bacteria, hence lessening the risk of infection and the feeling of discomfort.
- Put a cold tea bag inside your mouth where there is pain. Teabags are said to have anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties.
These are some tips that can help provide relief due to impacted wisdom teeth. It should be a harmless part of your oral system. But if it does cause pain and discomfort, make sure to visit a dentist to help you with your oral health problems.