Wisdom Teeth – Causes, problems, and solutions
Impacted wisdom teeth can cause some very serious dental issues. However, if the symptoms are detected in time and you go to the dentist to fix the issue before it gets too problematic, you have nothing to worry about. So, what are some common symptoms and issues caused by impacted wisdom teeth?
Impacted wisdom teeth don’t always come with symptoms. However, when an impacted wisdom tooth gets infected, it causes many other dental problems and damages other teeth. That is when you can see some of these symptoms:
Red or swollen gums
Tender or bleeding gums
Swelling around the jaw
Difficulty opening your mouth
An unpleasant taste in your mouth
When to see a doctor
If you are experiencing symptoms in the area behind your last molar, you should go see a dentist. In most cases, symptoms in that area are associated with an impacted wisdom tooth.
What causes these symptoms? Well, in most cases wisdom teeth get impacted by the lack of room to erupt or develop properly. They usually emerge between the ages of 17 and 25. Some people are lucky enough to have their wisdom teeth emerging without any problems and perfectly lining up with other teeth. However, what mostly happens is that the mouth is crowded and that prevents third molars from developing normally. As a result, these third molars become trapped.
An impacted wisdom tooth may still find a way to emerge in which case only the crown is visible, or it may never even break through the gums. In other words, it either gets partially or fully impacted which means it might:
Grow at an angle toward the next tooth
Grow at an angle toward the back of the mouth
Grow straight up or down like other teeth but stay trapped within the jawbone
Grow at a right angle to the other teeth
There are several issues an impacted tooth may end up causing in the mouth.
Firstly, it can cause severe damage to other teeth, if it pushes against the second molar. This way, an impacted wisdom tooth can increase the risk of infection in the area of the second molar. The pressure it makes can also cause problems with crowding of other teeth. This issue requires an orthodontic treatment to straighten other teeth.
Secondly, an impacted wisdom tooth develops in a sac that can fill with fluid and that’s what ends up forming a cyst. A cyst can damage the jawbone, teeth, and nerves. In some cases, it can even develop a tumour.
An impacted wisdom tooth causes a higher risk of tooth decay than other teeth. This is mainly due to the fact that wisdom teeth are harder to clean and all the food and bacteria get stuck between the gum and the tooth.
Lastly, impacted wisdom teeth can cause a gum disease, which is hard to get rid of.
When Is Removal Needed?
When wisdom teeth cause these problems, or X-rays show they will eventually, that means you need to get wisdom teeth removal done immediately. And there are some additional reasons why you should take them out. Firstly, as it was already mentioned, impacted wisdom teeth pose a great risk for other teeth. They can damage them by pushing them around and causing mouth pain and bite problems. Secondly, they can cause jaw damage by hollowing your jaw and also potentially damaging your nerves. They can also create sinus issues such as severe pain, pressure, and congestion. They can cause inflamed gums and cavities as well. They will most likely end up causing problems with alignment for other teeth in which case you will have to get an orthodontics treatment done.
Going to the dentist is necessary for these situations since they will look at the shape of your mouth and the position of your teeth and give you a professional opinion on what you should do. Remember that your age plays a role too. If you’re still not ready for wisdom teeth removal, you can ask your dentist to explain what they see with your teeth. In most cases, you will be able to wait a few months before tackling the problem. However, if you suffer from severe pain and swelling near your back teeth, you should probably get it fixed as soon as possible.
Lastly, even though it’s impossible to prevent it, you can still keep going to regular six-month dental appointments. Go for cleaning and regular check-ups so that your dentist can monitor the growth of your wisdom teeth. By getting your dental X-rays regularly, you can detect impacted wisdom teeth before any symptoms even occur.
In conclusion, knowing the symptoms and potential problems impacted wisdom teeth can cause can be very useful in detecting many dental issues and fixing them in time. However, even if you have no symptoms it’s important that you keep going to dental check-ups regularly to make sure everything is fine.