October 24, 2014

Wisdom Teeth: Why They Are a Nuisance to Your Dental Hygiene

The majority of people will develop wisdom teeth, and many of these people will find that these teeth don't grow in straight or erupt fully. Crooked wisdom teeth can result in impactions, abscesses, and chipped or broken molars, but even ones that seem to grow in without incident can pose major challenges to oral health and dental hygiene.

Wisdom Teeth Why They are a Nuisance to Your Dental Hygiene
Wisdom Teeth Are Difficult to Keep Clean A lot of people experience difficulty keeping their second molars clean. Since these teeth are present nearest the temporomandibular joint, there is limited room to be able to fit and maneuver a toothbrush or dental floss. As a result, these teeth can be challenging to keep clean and healthy. Wisdom teeth erupt in the space behind the second molars, where it can be even more of a challenge to keep them brushed and flossed. Even if the teeth grow in without incident and receive regular professional cleanings, these teeth can develop cavities and gingivitis.

Wisdom Teeth Can Cause Pericoronitis
Pericoronitis is an infection of the soft tissue surrounding a partially erupted wisdom tooth. When wisdom teeth aren't able to fully erupt, they may end up creating a flap of gum tissue. This flap is virtually impossible to floss, and readily collects food particles and bacteria. As bacteria multiply and food decays, the gums around the wisdom tooth become red, swollen, and tender. They bleed easily, give off a foul odor, and may even discharge pus. While good dental hygiene can reduce the risk and severity of pericoronitis, it frequently returns. Only removal of the flap of gum tissue or the wisdom tooth itself will eliminate it.

Wisdom Teeth Can Erupt Too Closely to Second Molars
It was conventional wisdom for many years that wisdom teeth could push other teeth more closely together, possibly even causing some to touch each other and make flossing difficult. This is not the case, though people may find their teeth drifting over time due to unrelated reasons. Wisdom teeth can, however, erupt too closely to adjacent molars. According to Any Day Dental, this can create a tight space between wisdom teeth and second molars that is difficult to floss between, or even cause chips in second molars that collect food particles and bacteria in areas brushing or flossing can't easily reach.

For some lucky people, wisdom teeth will erupt without a problem. For others, these teeth can become a serious problem when it comes to maintaining good dental hygiene.
(Contributed by Lizzie)

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