Impacted Wisdom Teeth Treatment
Impacted wisdom teeth refer to the third molars that are situated at the back of the mouth and do not have enough space to grow normally.
Wisdom teeth emerge in adults and are the last teeth to come out. In most cases, four wisdom teeth emerge at the back of the mouth, one in each quarter (two up and two down).
Impacted wisdom teeth may cause pain, harm to other teeth and other complications of the teeth as well. Sometimes, wisdom teeth may not lead to any immediate or apparent problems however, they tend to be hard to clean and are therefore, more susceptible to tooth decay or cavities and gum disease than other teeth in the mouth.
If impacted wisdom teeth cause dental complications, pain or other symptoms, your dentist may simply remove them. Some dentists may also suggest removing impacted wisdom teeth even if they do not cause any symptoms, to prevent problems that may result in the future.
Signs and symptoms
Signs and symptoms of impacted teeth may not occur in some cases, however, if the impacted wisdom teeth are infected or affect other teeth in the mouth, signs and symptoms of such problems may include:
- Tender gums
- Bleeding gums
- Swollen or red gums
- Swelling around the jaw
- Bad taste in the mouth
- Bad breath
When to seek medical attention
See your dentist if you experience swelling, pain or other symptoms behind the last molar.
See your dentist regularly for checkups and professional cleanings. Regular checkups and x-rays may signal an impacted tooth before symptoms arise.
Wisdom teeth are impacted when they do not have enough space to grow normally.
Wisdom teeth normally emerge in people of ages 17 to 25. Sometimes wisdom teeth come in without causing any problems and align with the rest of the teeth, properly with the second molars. However, in many cases, the mouth gets too crowded, preventing the second molars and wisdom teeth from growing normally. When these crowded wisdom teeth become trapped, they are referred to as impacted wisdom teeth.
Sometimes, an impacted wisdom tooth may emerge partially; making the crown visible or it may not break through the gums and become full impacted.
Impacted wisdom teeth that cause pain, swelling or other dental issues are typically removed surgically or extracted.
If you already have medical conditions that may increase the risks of developing problems due to surgery, your dentist will most likely ask you to consult an oral surgeon to determine the best treatment for the problem.
Complications that may result from impacted wisdom teeth often involve:
- Damage to the other teeth. When the impacted wisdom teeth push against the adjacent molars, the risk of infection increases. The increases pressure may also result in problems associated with crowding of the teeth
- Cysts. The sac the wisdom tooth grow in may get filled with fluid and result in damage to the teeth, jawbones or nerves
- Tooth decay. Partially impacted wisdom teeth are more susceptible to tooth decay as compared to the other teeth in the mouth
- Gum disease. Difficulty in cleaning the impacted teeth may make them susceptible to pericoronitis, which is an inflammatory gum disease