Wisdom teeth usually appear in your late teens or early twenties, although they can emerge as early as age 7. For others, this third set of molars may never break through the gum line.
Whether wisdom teeth are visible to the eye or only on an x-ray, they are more likely to cause problems than any other teeth. That’s why 10 million wisdom teeth are extracted annually.
At Trident Dental in Houston, Texas, our expert dental team has extracted its share of wisdom teeth and offers the following overview in this blog.
What is an impacted wisdom tooth?
When a wisdom tooth is impacted, it fails to erupt above the gumline or even the bone. When the tooth gets stuck in your jawbone or cannot push through your gums all the way, Generally, this is because your jaw doesn’t have enough space for the teeth, or the tooth grows in at a crooked angle. A wisdom tooth can also be partially impacted.
Symptoms and problems of impacted wisdom teeth
Impacted wisdom teeth often become infected, cause pain, and make it difficult to open your mouth. Common signs that you have an impacted wisdom tooth include:
- Gum disease
- Jaw pain
- Swelling around the jaw
- Bad breath
- An unpleasant taste in your mouth
- Damage to other teeth
Removing your impacted wisdom tooth
Impacted wisdom teeth are an immediate concern. If left for too long, they can have disastrous effects on your oral. How your dentist removes your wisdom teeth depends on whether they have erupted or are trapped beneath the gum line.
If the tooth or teeth are in altogether, your dentist will loosen the tooth with an instrument called an elevator. Next, the dentist pulls the tooth out with another tool called dental forceps.
If your tooth is not visible above the gum line, oral surgery is required. Your dentist makes an incision in the gum tissue to expose the tooth and bone.
You can’t keep your wisdom teeth from becoming impacted. However, maintaining regular six-month dental appointments for cleaning, checkups, and x-rays, can prevent problems from arising. These routine check-ins enable your dentist to monitor the emergence of your wisdom teeth and take action before problems occur.