Wisdom teeth are the last teeth to erupt within the mouth. When wisdom teeth align properly and gum tissue is healthy, wisdom teeth do not have to be removed. Unfortunately, this does not generally happen.
Reasons why people remove their wisdom teeth
Most people have their wisdom tooth removed for one of these reasons:
- Your wisdom tooth are impacted. Because they're so far back in your mouth, wisdom teeth may not come in normally. They can be trapped in your jawbone or gums, which can be painful.
- Your wisdom tooth come in at the wrong angle. They may press against your other teeth.
- Your mouth isn’t big enough. Your jaw has no room for an extra set of molars.
- Your wisdom tooth have caused cavities, cysts or gum infection. You may not be able to reach your wisdom teeth with your toothbrush or dental floss.
Common problems caused by misaligned or impacted wisdom teeth
- What are wisdom teeth?
- Where are your wisdom teeth located?
- When do wisdom Teeth erupt?
- Wisdom Teeth Eruption
- Prevention and Caring for erupting wisdom teeth
Sometimes wisdom teeth can be a valuable asset to the mouth when healthy and properly aligned, but more often, they are misaligned and require removal.
By the late teens. Wisdom teeth roots have developed and are getting longer. The crown of each wisdom tooth may start to erupt.
By the early 20s. Each wisdom tooth has erupted or is unable to fully erupt (is impacted). The roots may still be forming. The jawbones have stopped growing.
By about age 40.The roots of the wisdom teeth are solidly anchored in the bone. The jawbones have reached their adult density.
Impacted wisdom teeth which are poorly positioned can cause many problems. When impacted wisdom teeth are partially erupted, the opening around the teeth may allow bacteria to grow and will eventually cause an infection. The result: swelling, stiffness, pain, and illness.
Moreover, the pressure from an erupting wisdom teeth may move other teeth and disrupt the orthodontic or natural alignment of teeth.
The most serious problem may occur when tumors or cysts form around the impacted wisdom teeth, resulting in the destruction of the jawbone and healthy teeth. Removal of the offending impacted teeth usually resolves these problems. Early removal is recommended to avoid such future problems and to decrease the surgical risk involved with the procedure.
Practicing good oral hygiene: Brushing teeth twice a day, flossing, and using mouthwash can help reduce the bacteria in the mouth that cause infections.
Drinking plenty of water: This helps to flush food and bacteria away from the teeth and gums.
Avoid sugary foods: Sweet foods can get stuck inside the broken gums, encouraging bacteria to grow
Symptoms of Wisdom Teeth Growing In
The surest symptom of wisdom teeth growing in is the discovery of a new molar or molars in the rear of the mouth, but there are signs of their impending eruption to watch for, including pain in the back of the mouth or tenderness in the gums.
Unfortunately, many common wisdom teeth symptoms are those indicative of a problem, including:
- Tender or bleeding gums
- Red or swollen gums
- Jaw pain or swelling
- Bad breath or an unpleasant taste in the mouth
- Difficulty opening the mouth
Wisdom Teeth: Oral Surgery and Extraction
If any of the symptoms of impacted wisdom teeth are experienced, it is essential to find an Oral & Maxillofacial Surgeon and determine whether the teeth should be removed.
Even if symptom-free, it can be better to remove wisdom teeth before they become a serious problem. As patients age, their wisdom teeth roots lengthen and can become entangled with the sensory nerves of the lower jaw or sinus area of the upper jaw.
If wisdom teeth later become a problem, it will be a more difficult extraction with greater potential for complications. It is impossible to predict if or when complications could occur.
Studies have shown that early evaluation and treatment result in a superior outcome for the patient.
Patients are generally first evaluated in the mid-teenage years by an Oral & Maxillofacial Surgeon
Schedule a Wisdom Teeth Examination
At BC Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery, our Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon can perform an oral examination and x-rays of the mouth, to evaluate the position of the wisdom teeth and predict if there are present or may be future problems, whether your wisdom teeth are impacted, if there is room for them to erupt, and how difficult it will be to have them removed
Contact us today to arrange for a wisdom teeth examination to determine whether you may or may not require wisdom tooth removal.