Most people have their permanent adult teeth by the age of thirteen. A few years later, between the ages of seventeen to twenty-one your third molars at the back of the mouth usually push their way through your gums. Wisdom teeth get their name because they are the last teeth to come in, around the time of adulthood; the age when a person gains maturity and wisdom.
Sometimes wisdom teeth emerge with enough room and come in just the way they should. However, wisdom teeth have earned a reputation for making trouble when there is not enough room for them to emerge or if they are in the wrong position. These wisdom teeth are called 'impacted' and may have to be removed.
What Problems Can Wisdom Teeth Cause?
The tendency for wisdom teeth to become impacted or unable to move into their proper position, causes most of the problems. Impacted wisdom teeth grow in any way they can, such as sideways or at an angle. Some impacted wisdom teeth may only partially break through the gum surface, while others remain trapped beneath the gum and bone leading to other complications.
When a wisdom tooth partially comes in through the gums, it creates an opening where bacteria may enter and cause an infection. This infection may cause swelling, pain and jaw stiffness.
Since a partially emerged wisdom tooth may be difficult to clean, plaque containing bacteria may form on the surface of the tooth creating cavities in the wisdom tooth and possibly the adjacent tooth.
When teeth become crowded they lose their proper position in the mouth. Damage or crowding of nearby teeth can be caused by a wisdom tooth that does not have enough room in the jaw to emerge or if the tooth is poorly aligned. Teeth may wear unevenly or prematurely with structural damage as a result.
When a wisdom tooth becomes impacted, the sack that surrounds the tooth can fill with fluid and form a cyst. Wisdom teeth cysts are capable of damaging not only the wisdom tooth, but adjacent teeth, the jawbone and nerves.
Does Everyone Need to Remove Their Wisdom Teeth?
Regular dental visits allow your dentist to track the progress and condition of all of your teeth. Not everyone needs their wisdom teeth removed. Some wisdom teeth emerge properly aligned. However, if your dentist recommends that you have your wisdom teeth removed, the best time would be before they have a chance to cause complications. Please feel free to share any concerns with us and we will be happy to advise you.
If your wisdom teeth are bothering you or if you are wondering if you need to have your wisdom teeth removed or if they are okay to stay, give us a call at 780-849-2233 and we can book you in for a consult so we can take a look at whats happening.