The Problem with Impacted Wisdom Teeth
Wisdom teeth are third molars in the back of the upper and lower jaws. Patients normally have 4 of them, 2 in the upper jaw and 2 in the lower jaw. However, some patients only have 2, 3, or no wisdom teeth at all. Wisdom teeth typically erupt between 17 and 25 years old, and for some patients erupt normally into the mouth. However, they often become impacted, meaning that they do not have enough room to erupt into the mouth normally. Impacted wisdom teeth may cause pain, damage to adjacent teeth, and other dental problems. Today we’ll take a closer look at some of these problems caused by impacted wisdom teeth.
Signs of Impacted Wisdom Teeth:
When pain associated with wisdom teeth is present, it usually means they have become impacted. Some of the following signs may be present when an impacted wisdom tooth becomes infected:
- Swollen, tender, and red gums at the site
- Swelling around the jaw
- Bad taste in mouth
- Unpleasant breath
- Swollen glands
- Ear ache/headache
If any of these signs are popping up it is time to call and schedule an appointment with Dr. Johnson or Dr. Long!
Complications of Impacted Wisdom Teeth:
Some wisdom teeth impactions may partially erupt and have part of the crown showing while others may remain fully impacted below the gums. Complications can arise from both scenarios and may begin as bleeding gums or mild pain, but may develop into problems such as:
- Damage to adjacent teeth: If the wisdom tooth pushes against an adjacent second molar it can cause damage to the second molar. It could also create a trap for debris to build up leading to infection or decay.
- Tooth decay: If a wisdom tooth is partially covered by a flap of gum tissue or trapped against an adjacent tooth a food and debris trap is created. This makes it very difficult to keep wisdom teeth clean and places them at a high risk for developing decay. A wisdom tooth may also make second molars more susceptible to decay as well.
- Gum Disease: Since it is difficult to keep partially erupted wisdom teeth clean, an inflammatory tissue condition called pericornitis may develop. This commonly occurs on the flap of tissue that is covering a partially erupted wisdom tooth.
- Cyst development: The wisdom teeth develop in a sac in the jawbone. This sac can fill with fluid and form a cyst that can cause damage to the jawbone and surrounding blood vessels, nerves, etc.
What should I do if I Have Impacted Wisdom Teeth?
If you are experiencing any symptoms listed above it may be time to consider to addressing your wisdom teeth. In most cases of symptomatic impactions, wisdom teeth should be removed from the jaw to eliminate the problem and prevent future problems.
Thank You For Reading Our Blog!
Please give our office a call at 317-535-7141 so that we can schedule an appointment with Dr. Johnson or Dr. Long for an evaluation. Thank you for taking the time to read our blog! Have a great week!