Most of the time when you hear people talking about wisdom teeth, it’s usually in the context of having them removed. Not all wisdom teeth have to be removed, but many are problematic or could cause future problems. Just like all other teeth, wisdom teeth can be at risk for decay.
Why Cavities Easily Form in Wisdom Teeth
For many people, third molars are a common place for tooth decay to occur. First of all, they are located way back in the corner of your mouth, making it harder to clean their surfaces with a tooth brush. Additionally, many molars come in at less than perfect angles, creating nooks and crannies for sugars and bacteria to hang out in. And lastly, many people’s mouths are just not large enough to house a third set of molars without overcrowding. They can cause other teeth to shift and make it hard to get in between teeth to clean properly.
How Dentists Address Cavities in Wisdom Teeth
Some cavities that form in wisdom teeth are small and in areas that are easy to access. This is no big deal to address. Dentists perform regular fillings on these, just as they would any other tooth. However, if the decay is extensive or in places your dentist is unable to reach, they have to take other routes. This is when we see how keeping wisdom teeth might not actually be the “wise” choice.
With extensive decay, dentists may recommend extraction for several reasons:
- If your dentist can’t access the area and decay has formed, this shows that further decay is likely.
- An aptitude for decay on a wisdom tooth also puts surrounding teeth at risk for increased decay. Losing second molars is definitely something dentists want to help you avoid.
- If decay has spread to a second tooth, they may extract the wisdom tooth and attempt to repair the second molar.
What to Do If You Suspect You Have a Problem
Give Austin Family Dental a call. We understand that dealing with wisdom teeth may make you nervous, since it frequently results in extraction. Come in, let us take a look and we’ll discuss your options. We always aim for the least invasive, but smartest decisions for our patients. Remember, it’s better to have it checked out sooner rather than later. The longer you wait, the worse the decay, and thus the fix, can become.