One dental problem that most people end up having to have corrected are the appearance of their “wisdom teeth”. Your wisdom teeth are the third molar and are normally the last tooth to erupt on each side of the upper and lower jaws. That is, if they actually erupt. Most become impacted, or fail to erupt, or may partially erupt. In those cases you will normally be advised to have them removed. And because of the possibility of nerve damage during extraction if wisdom teeth are allowed to grow to maturity, most dentists will recommend that they be removed as early as possible, usually in the late teens.
The reason wisdom teeth are extracted is to correct an actual problem or to prevent problems that may come up in the future. When wisdom teeth come in, a number of problems can occur:
- Your jaw may not be large enough for them, and they may become impacted and unable to break through your gums.
- Your wisdom teeth may break partway through your gums, causing a flap of gum tissue to grow over them. Food and germs can get trapped under the flap and cause your gums to become red, swollen, and painful. These are signs of infection.
- More serious problems can develop from impacted teeth, such as infection, damage to other teeth and bone, or a cyst.
- One or more of your wisdom teeth may come in at an awkward angle, with the top of the tooth facing forward, backward, or to either side.
The surgery to remove them isn’t complicated or particularly painful, but it will save you from suffering those problems we’ve listed in the future.
If you have any questions or concerns about your wisdom teeth or the surgery, please contact us and we’ll be glad to discuss them with you.