Located in the very back of the mouth, wisdom teeth are the lower and upper third molars. A person typically develops wisdom teeth between the ages of 17 and 21, giving them their name “wisdom teeth”, as one develops these teeth once they are old to enough to have gain obtain a bit of “wisdom”. There are many patients who have wisdom teeth that will not cause problems. When the wisdom teeth are positioned correctly and healthy, they may be able to remain. However, about 90 percent of Americans today have their wisdom teeth removed.
When aligned properly and healthy, wisdom teeth may actually be an asset to the mouth. Nevertheless, they are much more commonly misaligned and must be removed to avoid damage to adjacent teeth, nerves or the jawbone. In addition, improper alignment may crowd the mouth, causing nearby teeth to shift inappropriately. Misaligned wisdom teeth may be angled to or away from the second molars, horizontal, or with an inward or outward angle.
Finally, wisdom teeth may also be impacted. In this case, the wisdom teeth are actually enclosed in the soft tissue and/or the jawbone. Impacted wisdom teeth are not able to penetrate the gums due to a lack of room and this is a very common occurrence. In fact, approximately 9 of every 10 patients with wisdom teeth have at least one impacted tooth. In other cases, the impacted wisdom teeth erupt partially, allowing for all kinds of bacteria to go into the tooth and potentially causing infection. Therefore, it is imperative to speak with a dentist about your wisdom teeth sooner rather than later.
To schedule an appointment, contact our Royal Palm Beach dentist office today.
Symptoms of Wisdom Teeth Problems
For 90 percent of patients in America, extraction is the solution to wisdom teeth problems. When teeth are growing improperly in the mouth there are a variety of complications that may arise. For instance, when food particles become trapped beyond the wisdom teeth in the jaw area, infections may develop, especially because this region is difficult to floss and brush. The most common reasons that wisdom teeth will need to be extracted are as follows:
- Impacted wisdom teeth
- Problematic wisdom teeth
- Misalignment causing crowding (malocclusion)
Being aware of the most common symptoms of wisdom teeth that may need to be extracted is essential. The following are a few of the most frequently seen indications that wisdom teeth will need to come out:
- Jaw stiffness in close proximity to the impacted tooth
- Pain near the impacted tooth
- Other teeth are crowded
- Tooth is positioned in an awkward angle, causing irritation and pain as it rubs against the patient’s tongue, cheek, and top/bottom of the mouth
- Gum disease
- Tooth decay
- Partially erupted tooth, infected swelling within the flap of gum tissue
There are a variety of infections that may form due to the location of the wisdom teeth. The hard-to-reach location makes it difficult to properly brush and floss that area. As such, it is important for patients experiencing any of the above symptoms to regularly visit the dentist to ensure that the alignment and presence of the wisdom teeth are continually evaluated.
The ease of the extraction will depend largely on the position of the teeth, whether or not the teeth had fully erupted, and the stage of development. Patients should speak to their dentist to discuss whether or not the wisdom teeth need to be removed and the best method of extraction in order to maintain health.
For more information, please contact James Family Dentistry at your earliest convenience.