Why Do Wisdom Teeth Grow Sideways?
Wisdom teeth, also known as third molars, are the last set of teeth to emerge in the back of the mouth. However, it is not uncommon for these teeth to grow sideways or in a horizontal direction, causing various dental issues and discomfort for many individuals. But why do wisdom teeth grow sideways? Let’s delve into the reasons behind this phenomenon.
1. Lack of Space: One of the primary reasons for wisdom teeth growing sideways is the lack of sufficient space in the jaw. As our ancestors evolved, their jaws became smaller, leaving less room for the wisdom teeth to grow properly.
2. Genetics: Genetics play a significant role in determining the size and shape of our jaws, as well as the alignment of our teeth. If your parents or other family members experienced sideways growth of their wisdom teeth, there is a higher chance that you might have the same issue.
3. Late Development: Wisdom teeth generally emerge in the late teens or early twenties when the jaw has already completed its development. Due to this late development, there may not be enough space for them to grow in the correct direction.
4. Impacted Wisdom Teeth: Wisdom teeth that grow sideways are often referred to as impacted wisdom teeth. Impaction occurs when the tooth is unable to fully emerge from the gum line and becomes trapped within the jawbone. Sideways growth is a common form of impaction.
5. Crowding of Teeth: When wisdom teeth grow sideways, they can push against the neighboring teeth, causing crowding and misalignment. This can lead to various dental issues, including tooth decay, gum disease, and bite problems.
6. Pain and Discomfort: Sideways growth of wisdom teeth can cause pain, discomfort, and swelling in the surrounding gums. This can also result in headaches, earaches, and jaw pain.
7. Infection: The partially erupted wisdom teeth can create a pocket between the gum and the tooth, which becomes a breeding ground for bacteria. This can lead to a painful infection known as pericoronitis.
8. Cysts and Tumors: In some cases, a wisdom tooth that grows sideways can develop a cyst or tumor around it. These growths can cause damage to the surrounding bone and teeth if left untreated.
9. Difficulty in Cleaning: Wisdom teeth that grow sideways are challenging to clean properly as they are located at the back of the mouth and often partially covered by the gum. This can increase the risk of tooth decay and gum disease.
10. Dental Complications: The sideways growth of wisdom teeth can result in various dental complications, including damage to nearby teeth, root resorption, and even the formation of cavities in adjacent teeth.
11. Difficulty in Orthodontic Treatment: If a person requires orthodontic treatment, such as braces, the presence of sideways wisdom teeth can hinder the progress and effectiveness of the treatment.
12. Extraction: Due to the potential problems caused by sideways-growing wisdom teeth, dental professionals often recommend their extraction. Removing these teeth can prevent future dental issues and alleviate discomfort.
13. Professional Consultation: To determine the best course of action regarding sideways wisdom teeth, it is essential to consult with a dental professional. They will assess the situation through X-rays, evaluate your oral health, and provide personalized advice based on your specific circumstances.
Common Questions about Sideways Wisdom Teeth:
1. Are sideways wisdom teeth common?
2. Can sideways wisdom teeth cause sinus problems?
3. How can I relieve pain caused by sideways wisdom teeth?
4. Can sideways wisdom teeth straighten on their own?
5. Does everyone need to have their wisdom teeth removed?
6. What should I do if my sideways wisdom tooth is infected?
7. Can sideways wisdom teeth damage nearby nerves?
8. What are the signs of an impacted wisdom tooth?
9. Can I prevent my wisdom teeth from growing sideways?
10. How long does it take to recover after wisdom teeth extraction?
11. Is wisdom teeth extraction a painful procedure?
12. Can I eat normally after wisdom teeth extraction?
13. Should I consult an oral surgeon or a dentist for wisdom teeth extraction?
In conclusion, the sideways growth of wisdom teeth is primarily attributed to a lack of space, late development, and genetic factors. This can lead to a range of dental problems, discomfort, and complications. Seeking professional advice and considering extraction is often the recommended solution to prevent future issues and maintain oral health.