Wisdom teeth, also known as third molars, usually emerge from the gums when an individual reaches the age of 17 to 25. These are the last permanent teeth to develop in the mouth. In most cases, there are four wisdom teeth situated at the very back of the mouth– two at the bottom, and another two on the top.
Impacted wisdom teeth happen when there’s not enough room for them to fully emerge from the gums and develop normally. This can cause a lot of pain, teeth damage, and other oral complications. Although there are a few cases where impacted wisdom teeth show no apparent signs of danger, they can be very hard to clean, making them more susceptible to gum disease and tooth decay.
It is rare for impacted wisdom teeth to show visible signs and symptoms, but when they become infected, one might experience the following:
* Swollen or red gums
* Halitosis or bad breath
* Difficulty in moving and opening your mouth
* Bleeding or tender gums
* Foul taste in your mouth
* Pain in your jaw
* Inflammation around the crown
Impacted wisdom teeth are typically taken out because of the dental complications, not to mention the pain that they cause. Even those that are not causing any apparent danger are also being removed to eliminate the risk of future problems such as:
* Tooth decay (caries)- Because impacted wisdom teeth are much harder to clean, the risk of getting tooth decay is increased.
* Infection and damage to surrounding teeth- If not extracted, impacted wisdom teeth can result in severe pressure in nearby teeth, causing infection and other damage.
* Pericoronitis- This inflammatory gum disease is caused by bacteria and food deposits that are trapped between an impacted wisdom tooth and the gum.
* Cysts- Although commonly benign, cysts developed around the impacted wisdom tooth could damage the teeth, jawbone, and nerves.
Schedule an appointment with your dentist immediately when any of the signs and symptoms above comes up. Impacted wisdom teeth extraction may sound like an all too abrasive procedure, but it sure could free you from future teeth nightmares.