What are "impacted wisdom teeth" and why do Dentists remove them?
Wisdom teeth are your third molars at the back of your mouth. Most people have wisdom teeth and they usually erupt in your late teens or early twenties. Many of us have too small of a jaw to accommodate these teeth. Often, we may recommend having these teeth removed before they have a chance to cause complications for you. When a third molar is unable to properly move into it's proper position, it may become impacted, growing into your mouth sideways, backwards, and in awkward angles.
These teeth can lead to the following complications:
1. Periocoronitis (infected gums) - When a tooth starts to break through your gum tissue, bacteria can enter through the opening and become trapped underneath the gum. The tissue becomes infected, sometimes very swollen, even abscessed and can cause a great deal of discomfort.
2. Caries or Decay - When a tooth is partially erupted out of your gum tissue, it is very difficult to keep clean. Quite often, these teeth are so far back in your mouth and at such difficult angles to clean yourself. Plaque, which contains bacteria, sticks to the tooth and gums, and can cause caries/decay to develop in the tooth, and possibly the teeth beside them as well.
3. Cyst Formation - Sometimes the sac around the impacted wisdom tooth can fill with fluid and form a cyst within your bone. This cyst can severely deteriorate the bone structure around the tooth, the adjacent teeth, and possibly damage nerves in the area.
If you are concerned about any of these complications or symptoms threatening your dental health, please ask us to take a look at your wisdom teeth. These problems may appear gradually and it is always easier to take care of problems before or just as they start. Regular examinations and x-rays help us to detect and prevent complications. The best time to remove wisdom teeth is in your late teens or early twenties, before the roots have a chance to completely form and anchor themselves into your jaw. Your jawbone is less dense the younger you are, denser jawbones make removing teeth more complicated and healing time is slower.
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