Wisdom teeth are the last few adult teeth a person develops. Most of the time there will be four, with two at the top and two at the bottom back of the mouth.
Wisdom teeth used to be a huge advantage when dental hygiene wasn’t prevalent and it was common for teeth to fall out. These were seen as excellent replacement teeth for chewing rough food, as that day and age required. However now, with excellent dental hygiene and developments, there is no room for these extra teeth when we already have a full set. When these wisdom teeth begin to grow with no room, they become ‘impacted’ and can cause a whole range of problems due to the force and angle in which they grow.
While they may not always cause symptoms, there are risks to impacted wisdom teeth, which is why removal is often necessary. This is usually done as a preventative measure, so that the dangers are avoided.
Some of these dangers of having impacted wisdom teeth range from minor to major discomfort, resulting in sometimes long-lasting problems.
Damage to other teeth
Depending on the way the teeth grow, if it grows pushing into the second molar, it may damage it or cause infection within that area. It often creates overcrowding, so when the tooth pushes against the molars it causes teeth to move, resulting in the need of orthodontic treatment to straighten the teeth, which can cost thousands of dollars.
Some gum problems that can develop due to impacted wisdom teeth are swollen, tender, bleeding, red gums, and gum disease. This is because they are often hard to clean and are generally more vulnerable. This can be painful and can result in a condition called pericoronitis.
When wisdom teeth grow, they develop in a sac which is in the jawbone. This is also why jawbone stiffness is also a common problem. When this sac is filled with fluid, it can form a cyst. Not only can it damage the jawbone but also the teeth and nerves.
While it is rare, if a tumour (usually benign) were to develop because of this, it would require the removal of tissue and bone.
Impacted wisdom teeth, especially those that are only partial impacted wisdom teeth, have a higher risk of tooth decay than other teeth. Due to the difficulty involved in cleaning them, bacteria builds quickly between the gum and tooth where it remains trapped and also forms plaque build-up, resulting in tooth decay.
It is important that you visit your dentist to identify the early signs of wisdom teeth growth, so that preventative methods can be put in place.
Dr Paulo Pinho at Widsom Teeth Professionals Sydney has extensive training in oral surgery, including the removal of wisdom teeth. Dr Pinho also has developed a great protocol to prevent and treat dry sockets. To learn more, call Dr Paulo Pinho at Wisdom Teeth Professionals in Sydney on 1300 217 858.
The information contained in this article is intended to give you general information and it is not intended to replace professional medical advice.