Wisdom teeth are the third set of molars that erupt from the gums during the late teens or early twenties. These teeth can become a problem if the jaw structure does not have additional space to accommodate the new addition. The overcrowding and pressure from the additional wisdom teeth may cause discomfort for the patient and may threaten existing teeth. Removal of wisdom teeth is a common procedure that can be done quickly and safely with minimum inconvenience.
Reasons Why Wisdom Teeth May Need Removal
A number of issues can cause problems with wisdom teeth that may require their removal.
- The teeth may only break through the gum part of the way, which can cause infection. Incomplete eruption can cause a cyst at the gum level, which can cause pain and difficulty eating.
- Wisdom teeth can come in crooked or facing the wrong direction. The eruption of the new teeth may cause pressure on teeth that are already present.
- Wisdom teeth can also become impacted in the gum, causing severe pain.
- In some cases, the dentist can anticipate some of the problems that the eruption of wisdom teeth will cause. In these cases, he or she may suggest removal of wisdom teeth as a preventative measure.
Signs of Wisdom Tooth Problems
Problems of wisdom tooth eruption can exhibit as a number of different symptoms.
The patient may feel pain or stiffness of the jaw or in the area where the wisdom tooth is erupting.
Irritation of mouth tissues may occur from the erupted tooth or from teeth being pushed by the new tooth.
Swelling or puffiness may occur in gums where the new tooth has failed to erupt completely.
Increased tooth decay may occur in teeth surrounding the new tooth as they become crowded and harder to clean.
Diagnosing Wisdom Tooth Problems
If x-rays indicate that wisdom teeth are intruding on other teeth or causing problems with mouth tissues, your dentist will refer you to an oral surgeon to remove the wisdom teeth. Although removal of wisdom teeth is a relatively easy procedure, you may require some time away from work to recover from the procedure.
When Should You Get Your Wisdom Teeth Pulled?
If you are suffering a great deal of pain as your wisdom teeth erupt then they could be impacted and you should contact a dentist immediately to schedule an extraction. Even if your wisdom teeth erupt with no complications, they can often be difficult to reach and clean properly and can eventually contribute to periodontitis and tooth decay.