Thursday, February 20, 2020

Common Wisdom Tooth Issues

Christopher C. “Chris” Babcock, DMD, MD, earned both his dental and medical degrees from the University of Louisville. As an oral and maxillofacial surgeon, Dr. Christopher C. Babcock performs third molar removals.

Third molars, also known as wisdom teeth, emerge in about 25 percent of people. Since the human jaw has shrunk over the course of millennia, many people do not have space for these teeth. This can cause several problems, including swelling, infection, and pain. Wisdom teeth can become impacted, which means there is no room in the jaw for them to emerge. Impacted teeth can press against other teeth, causing misalignment.

Wisdom teeth that do emerge can be difficult to clean and may make the person more susceptible to gum disease and cavities. They can also collect bacteria that can lead to jawbone or tooth infections. Further, poorly aligned or impacted wisdom teeth can also press against and damage facial nerves. While most people will not seek dental care for their wisdom teeth until a problem arises, some dentists recommend removing the teeth during late adolescence as a precaution.