Understanding Wisdom Teeth
Wisdom teeth or third molars, are generally the final four of your thirty-two teeth to appear. This eruption most commonly occurs between the ages of 17 to 25. They are at the very back of the upper and lower jaw.
Unfortunately, wisdom teeth are usually associated with issues as most mouths just do not have the space to accommodate them. Not often do wisdom teeth become new functional teeth. Instead, they can be impacted or stuck in less than desirable positions causing infection, or damage to other teeth, and tissue. Impaction happens to varying degrees depending on the age and depth of the tooth in the jaw.
Wisdom Teeth Cause Issues to Different Degrees
When the wisdom tooth’s crown is through the jawbone but not emerging past your gumline or has partially breached your gums it is called soft Tissue Impaction. In this case, food and bacteria can become trapped causing the tooth to decay or become infected.
If the wisdom tooth has only partially breached the jawbone it is called a Partial Bony Impaction. In this situation some of the tooth may breach the gumline or it could remain completely covered. Either way the tooth can still be venerable to infection and decay.
The same is true of a Complete Bony Impaction where the whole tooth is still covered by the jawbone and has not made its way through. In this case obviously more invasive procedures are required for removal.
Not all wisdom teeth need to be removed. Your dentist or oral surgeon will only remove them if they are causing issues like pain, swelling, decay or infection. Or, if they have potential to cause problems later, you may choose to have them removed. There are benefits to removing them early before they become more established, such as a shorter recovery time and less discomfort. Read our blog “Wisdom Teeth Removal, Earlier is Better!“
When a youth is approaching wisdom tooth age, a digital x-ray can clearly identify potential wisdom tooth problems like overcrowding among other risk factors. At Erbsville Dental, lots of students and young people are dealing with new wisdom teeth. Dr. Mathews can give you options based on experience with hundreds of similar examples.
After the procedure, depending on the circumstances, you may be asked to have a family member or friend drive you home. Once home you may even want someone to monitor your progress. In any case you will have lots of support in the form of information from Erbsville Dental. Although each person heals differently, detailed post op instructions are provided, which if followed allows for a smooth recovery. Typically, 1-2 days of minimal discomfort can be expected.
Do you suspect you have an issue with wisdom teeth?