In our late teens to mid-twenties, our third molars–commonly called our “wisdom teeth”–start to come in. In most cases, the jaw is not able to accommodate these new additions, and painful complications can result.

Most wisdom teeth erupt partially or not at all; both cause unique problems for your teeth and oral health.


Impacted Wisdom Teeth

Wisdom teeth that don’t come in at all are often impacted. This means the other teeth block and trap them, nad they become tilted under the gum line. This is often painful as the teeth are moved around, leading to crowding and displacement of the teeth. If you have had orthodontic work done, wisdom teeth have the ability to undo some of it, which is a frustrating and frequently expensive problem to fix.


Partially Erupted

Wisdom teeth that come in only partially can result in a flap of gum tissue forming next to it. This traps bits of food particles, creating a veritable hotbed of infection-causing bacteria. This infection is called pericoronitis, a painful inflammation of the tissue surrounding the wisdom tooth. This condition makes it difficult and painful to chew and can leave a bad taste and smell in your mouth.

In the worst cases, a cyst (a fluid-filled growth) can appear on the gum tissue surrounding the partially erupted tooth. These cysts can cause permanent damage to bone tissue and surrounding teeth.

You can avoid these problems by having an oral surgeon remove the wisdom teeth. Dentists will advise you to have them taken out when you are younger (under the age of 35). This will decrease the chances of complications and to ensure optimal healing.

Keeping wisdom teeth is never a good idea. Even seemingly problem-free wisdom teeth are breeding grounds for cavities, bacteria, and infections as they This is due to the difficult to keep clean.

Schedule regular check-ups and dental exams so we can monitor your wisdom teeth’s progression, and detect any potential problems. Contact our office today to get a consultation.