WHILE WISDOM TEETH don’t make you smarter, they do usually come in when you are in your late teens or early 20s — a time when you’re expected to start displaying “wisdom” and maturity. Unfortunately, pain and discomfort from problems with your wisdom teeth can result in a lot of missed days from school — an occurrence that never looks mature or smart.
As we gear up for back-to-school, it’s important to see your dentist to make sure your wisdom teeth don’t get in the way of your education. Like studying and getting good grades, maintaining oral health needs your attention and care on a daily basis.
ELEMENTARY FACTS ON WISDOM TEETH
Wisdom teeth — or third molars — are the last set of molars to come in. While they can come in perfectly, it’s also pretty common for them to come in sideways, angled in the wrong direction or otherwise misaligned. Such misalignment can cause crowding and put pressure on adjacent teeth; this can result in further misalignment, damage, and pain.
Wisdom teeth can also be impacted, which means they are not fully emerged from your gums, or even your jawbone, like the rest of your teeth. Impacted wisdom teeth can harbor bacteria and infection, which, in turn, causes tooth decay, gum disease, inflammation, and pain.
ACING WISDOM TEETH CARE
Not all wisdom teeth need to be removed, but your dentist is the best resource for determining whether your wisdom teeth should stay in or come out. Since the status of your wisdom teeth changes over time, it’s important for you to see your dentist on a regular basis so he or she can keep tabs on them. If you notice any changes, discomfort or pain in between visits, make sure to see your dentist as soon as possible to head off any problems.
Word of Mouth is sponsored by Midtown Dental.
column by DR. WILLIAM NERESTANT
BIO: William Nerestant, DDS received his Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS) degree from the University of Detroit/Mercy School of Dentistry in Michigan. After serving and being recognized for his meritorious service in the Air Force as an officer in the Dental Corps, he currently serves patients at Midtown Dental in Lakeland. For more information, visit www.mymidtowndental.com or call (863) 226-0987.