What are Wisdom Teeth?
Wisdom teeth are the final set of molars to grow in between the ages of 17 to 25. A person can have up to 4 wisdom teeth, however, some people lack wisdom teeth at all or only have a couple. When beginning to grow in wisdom teeth may cause problems, if they are causing problems it is recommended to have them removed.
Why are Wisdom Teeth Removed?
As wisdom teeth are growing in they may cause problems. Pain, discomfort and irritability are all symptoms of problematic wisdom teeth. They may cause crowding of other teeth, may be growing in at an odd angle, and may become painful as they erupt. Impacted wisdom teeth or wisdom teeth that grow at an angle may lead to infection and cause other teeth to move. It is heavily advised to have an impacted tooth removed to prevent Periodontitis and damage of other teeth.
Impacted wisdom teeth will often:
- Grow towards the second set of molars
- Grow towards the back of the mouth
- Grow at a perpendicular angle towards other teeth and cause stress on the roots
- Become trapped in the jawbone causing discomfort
Other problems caused by impacted wisdom teeth:
- Sore mouth and gums
- Swelling in jaw or gums
- Pain in gums or jaw
- Bad breath caused by infection
- Tender and bleeding gums
- Unpleasant taste in your mouth that won’t go away
What Causes Impacted Wisdom Teeth?
Wisdom teeth are the third set of molars to grow in, which means space can be scarce. If there is not enough room to grow, wisdom teeth will force their way even if they come in at an angle. Impacted teeth may not break the gum surface and may stay trapped underneath the gums. In other cases they will partially emerge and then become stuck part way.
Other Problems Caused by Wisdom Teeth
If unchecked and not cared for impacted wisdom teeth can cause more than pain and discomfort. While the most common complication of an impacted wisdom tooth is an infection, it can lead to tooth decay, damage to other teeth and painful cysts.
Wisdom teeth grow in the back of your mouth and can be hard to reach. Impacted wisdom teeth make dental hygiene more difficult to keep track of by creating spaces between teeth and gums. Without proper care, bacteria growth will create issues with your gums and roots, possibly affecting nearby teeth.
If an impacted wisdom tooth is left to grow next to a second molar it may put pressure between the two increasing risk of infection. If the mouth has been straightened with braces or another method it’s possible the pressure may cause the rest of the teeth to be rearranging, causing the need for them to be straightened again.
Otherwise known as a dental cyst, they are caused by a buildup of air, fluid or soft materials in your mouth. Constant irritation from impacted wisdom teeth can cause a cyst to form. Cysts often form in soft areas such as lips, gums and the inside of the cheek. If left untreated and a cyst is allowed to grow it may cause serious complications that may involve major surgery.
How Do I Know if I Need Wisdom Teeth Removed?
Any pain or swelling on the back of your jaw may indicate a problem with your wisdom teeth growing in. Wisdom teeth are usually removed at a younger age, but if they are causing issues it is advised to get them removed at any point in your life. If you are curious about the state of your wisdom teeth ask your dentist for an X-Ray at your next appointment. If you have pain or discomfort be sure to contact us.
If you have any questions about your wisdom teeth, contact Don Larson Dentistry in Eagle and schedule your appointment today. 208.939.3500.