3 Ways Wisdom Teeth Can Incite Decay


Wisdom teeth can require removal for a variety of reasons. They may be growing in laterally instead of vertically which can force the misalignment of adjacent teeth, or they may be facilitating dental decay.

Here are a few ways that wisdom teeth can make dental decay more prevalent in your mouth:

Deep Grooves

A wisdom tooth, like the other molars in your mouth, has deep crevices in its chewing surface. This allows food and plaque to settle on the tooth for the easy development of cavities.

Plaque is a mixture of food and oral bacteria. As the microbes in the plaque feed on carbohydrates within the food, they produce bacterial acids. These acids corrode the tooth enamel to cause cavities.

Often, for young patients, pediatric dentists apply sealants to the molars of the mouth. These resin coatings help fill the grooves of the teeth and form a decay-resistant barrier, but since wisdom teeth don't usually present until you become a teen or adult, they may never receive added protection from decay.

The cavities that result can actually spread decay to nearby teeth.

Overhanging Gums

Some wisdom teeth are more apt to decay due to partial eruption. The gums should only surround the base of a tooth. However, in the case of a wisdom tooth that has not fully presented, the gums may overhang the back portion of the tooth, forming a pocket that traps food and debris.

Even if you brush and floss regularly, you may still be unable to remove the trapped debris from the pocket of the gums. This can cause gum inflammation, and it can also cause the wisdom tooth to decay.

Debris removal can sometimes be achieved using an oral irrigator. However, it may require professional intervention. A dentist can cut away the overhanging gums to help prevent the issue from recurring, but he or she is likely to suggest the removal of the teeth.

Cleaning Difficulties

Wisdom teeth are the third molars in the mouth. As a result, even if they are fully erupted, they may still be more difficult to brush than the other teeth in your mouth. The lack of proper cleaning can cause a greater buildup of tartar, which traps additional plaque to incite further decay.

To have your wisdom teeth assessed and to determine whether or not they need to be extracted, schedule a wisdom teeth removal consultation with a dentist in your area.

About Me

FAQs About Pregnancy and Dental Health

During pregnancy, expectant mothers have to deal with a host of changes to their bodies. I was surprised to learn that part of those changes is to your dental health. I was not aware that hormonal changes could mean an increased risk of gum infection and other dental problems. Luckily for me, my dentist was prepared to handle any problems that I experienced during my pregnancy. I created this blog to help other expectant mothers understand the changes that their dental health could experience throughout their pregnancies and the possible ramifications those changes could have on their pregnancies and the health of their unborn children.

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