Why do Wisdom Teeth Become Impacted?

why do wisdom teeth become impacted?

3D x-ray CT of an impacted wisdom teeth adjacent the inferior alveolar nerve (blue) [source]

Occasionally, wisdom teeth erupt perfectly and cause no problems. More commonly, wisdom teeth cause issues.


What are wisdom teeth?

Wisdom teeth, third molars, are the teeth that are furthest back in the mouth.

How do they become impacted?

Wisdom teeth are the last teeth to grow in – usually between age 17 and 21 – and often are unable to erupt completely due to a lack of space. These teeth become impacted or stuck.

Why are impacted wisdom teeth problems?

Wisdom teeth can damage adjacent teeth as they try to erupt. Misaligned teeth can also trap debris such as plaque and food in the gums around them. This can lead to swelling, tenderness of the gums, cavities and periodontal disease. Cysts can form around impacted teeth and become locally destructive to the surrounding bone and teeth.

What are the symptoms of impacted wisdom teeth?

Symptoms include pain or tenderness, a bad taste in the mouth, redness around the impacted tooth, difficulty chewing, jaw swelling, bleeding gums, bad breath or even headaches.

Do wisdom teeth need to be removed?

If wisdom teeth grow in completely in the proper position and are aligned correctly with their opposite teeth, they may not need to be removed. As long as they can be cleaned easily on a daily basis and are not disrupting other teeth, you may not need to remove wisdom teeth.

When should they be removed?

It is best to remove wisdom teeth early on, before they are able to develop fully formed roots. This leads to faster healing after the procedure and makes the entire process easier to perform. Wisdom teeth can be removed at any time. It is often advisable to remove them before symptoms arise. The concept that, if the teeth are not bothersome, no treatment is needed might lead to problems that would have been entirely preventable.

If it is time for you to schedule your wisdom tooth extraction, contact Mamaroneck Oral Surgery today, (914) 873-0045.