Your child’s mouth undergoes many different changes throughout his/her lifetime. Among the biggest milestone often takes place between the age of 17 and 21 when the third molars erupt. Traditionally, these teeth are called ‘wisdom teeth’ as they emerge at a later age.

When they surface at a proper position, wisdom teeth can help you masticate. While it’s normal to feel slight pain or discomfort when your wisdom teeth surface, experiencing intense pain prompts immediate dental check-up.

What’s the problem?

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The appearance of wisdom teeth often leads to problems when there's not enough space for them. When they are misaligned, they may position in a wrong angle, either away from the next molar, inward or outward. They may also become impacted or trapped under the gums or in the jaw.

When your wisdom teeth erupt, your pediatric dentist will check the following signs:

·         When the wisdom teeth are in the wrong position, it allows food to easily get trapped, promoting the growth of acid-producing bacteria that cause a cavity.

·         Wisdom teeth in the wrong position make flossing a bit difficult between the wisdom teeth and the adjacent molars.

·         Wisdom teeth that partially erupted can permit the entry of bacteria inside the gums, which may cause an infection. This leads to swelling, stiffness, and pain of the jaw.

·         Impacted or trapped wisdom teeth inside the gums may damage adjacent teeth or causing crowding of the teeth.

·         Impacted wisdom teeth can create a cyst, which could damage the dental root of neighboring teeth.

When to Remove Your Wisdom Teeth

Generally, a wisdom tooth must be removed if it is causing the following symptoms or conditions in the mouth:

·         Tumors

·         Cyst

·         Infection

·         Pain

·         Tooth decay

·         Gum disease

·         Damage to adjacent teeth

Your dentist may advise removing your wisdom teeth as part of a dental treatment such as braces. Before removing your wisdom teeth, your dentist will recommend taking an X-ray and together, you can talk about the best treatment course.

When wisdom teeth are not causing any discomforts or changes in the mouth, you still have to keep on monitoring it for possible problems later. Make sure you floss your wisdom teeth, brush it thoroughly and visit your dentist regularly.