Impacted wisdom teeth

Wisdom teeth are the molars at the very back of the mouth. In many cases, these molars don’t have enough room to erupt into the mouth. Most people have four wisdom teeth, with two on the top and two on the bottom. If these teeth can’t fully erupt, they become impacted. This may cause pain, harm other teeth, or other dental issues. In some cases, impacted wisdom teeth may appear to be problem-free; however, because impacted wisdom teeth are nearly impossible to adequately clean, they are more vulnerable to decay or disease than other teeth. If your impacted wisdom teeth cause dental complications or discomfort, your dentist is likely to recommend removing wisdom teeth in valparaiso. Sometimes, dentists will recommend removing wisdom teeth that don’t appear problematic if they foresee the probability of problems in the future.

If your impacted wisdom teeth are bothering you, it’s likely due to an infection, or to the impacted tooth causing damage to adjacent teeth. If you experience redness, swelling, tenderness, or bleeding of the gums, you may have an impacted wisdom tooth. If you have pain or swelling in your jaw, trouble opening your mouth, bad breath, or an unpleasant taste in your mouth, these symptoms may also be caused by an impacted wisdom tooth. Especially if these symptoms occur in the areas adjacent to your rear molars, they may be associated with an impacted wisdom tooth, and your doctor can discuss solutions with you. Sometimes, wisdom teeth don’t have enough room to erupt properly, trapping them in the gums. If part of the crown of the tooth is visible, this tooth is partially impacted. If none of the crown is visible, the tooth is fully impacted. Regardless of the degree of impaction, an impacted tooth might grow at an angle, sometimes as acute as 90%, or sometimes pointing toward the back of the mouth, or it might stay trapped within the jawbone. These impacted wisdom teeth can cause damage to other teeth, possibly crowding the teeth, which may require orthodontic treatment, or increasing the risk of infection. Impacted wisdom teeth may also develop into cysts, which form when the sac containing the young wisdom tooth fills with fluid. This fluid-filled cyst can cause nerve damage, as well as damage the adjacent bone and teeth. Rarely, these cysts can develop into tumors. Though benign, or noncancerous, these tumors may require extensive surgery to remove. Additionally, partially impacted wisdom teeth are far more difficult to clean than the other teeth, causing increased rates of tooth decay in these teeth. Difficulty in cleaning these teeth may lead to a painful gum inflammation in that area, called pericoronitis.

Because wisdom teeth begin erupting at different ages and rates in different people, there’s no sure way to predict or prevent an impaction from happening. However, remembering to see your dentist every six months for regular checkups and cleaning will enable your dentist to observe the behaviors of your wisdom teeth as they erupt. Regular dental x-rays may also help determine if the wisdom teeth will be impacted before the teeth begin to emerge, preventing future problems. If you are between the ages of 17 and 24, or if you still have your wisdom teeth, be sure to see your dentist regularly, to fend off future complications.

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