All About Wisdom Teeth
Wisdom teeth, also known as third molars, are the last of the teeth to erupt in your mouth, often breaking through the back gums in older teens and young adults. Most people don’t need these extra teeth, but they often cause issues with tooth alignment, which is why they are recommended for removal. Occasionally, wisdom teeth can also get trapped in the jawbone underneath the gums, due to insufficient room to erupt.
If not removed, the overcrowded or impacted wisdom teeth can lead to gum disease, tooth realignment, damage to other teeth, decay, and cysts that can destroy the bone. Whether you have pain or not, you should schedule a consultation with Dr. Laventure or Dr. Schuyler so that they can take digital x-rays of your teeth and assess possible health issues that may arise from your wisdom teeth erupting. The sooner that problems are diagnosed, the easier it will be to correct the issue before your teeth are realigned or you experience significant pain.
There are a few types of wisdom teeth impaction to be aware of:
- Horizontal Impaction: A dangerous condition that requires extraction of the teeth, this occurs when the wisdom tooth is pointing away from the surface and directly towards the molar in front of it.
- Vertical Impaction: Vertical teeth may erupt over time, but often times, this can be very painful, causing damage to nearby teeth as well as crowding. This is the mildest form of impaction. The tooth is normally positioned; it just won’t erupt.
- Mesial Impaction: This is the most common impaction, and also requires extraction. This occurs when the wisdom tooth is angled towards the front of the mouth, pushing against the molar in front of it.
- Distal Impaction: This occurs when the wisdom tooth is angled backwards facing the rear of the mouth and is the least common impaction that may occur.
If you or your child are experiencing wisdom tooth eruption, contact our team to make an appointment today to learn more about any potential health concerns, and our recommendations to ensuring that pain and tooth realignment is minimized.