The adult human mouth has 32 teeth, with the last teeth to emerge being four wisdom teeth at the very back of the upper and lower jaw, on either side. These molars usually appear in the mouth sometime between the ages of 17 and 25.
For some people, wisdom teeth do not cause problems. However, many people do not have enough room in their mouth for the wisdom teeth, leading to many problems including cavities, infections, crowding, or pain.
What Are Impacted Wisdom Teeth?
Impacted wisdom teeth are when the teeth are located under the gums. In some cases, a small portion of the tooth has emerged.
Dentists see different types of impaction:
- Vertical impaction: In this case, the tooth is upright but entirely under the gum line.
- Mesioangular impaction: This is when the tooth grows at angle toward the front of the mouth.
- Horizontal impaction: With a horizontal impaction, the molar grows on its side, pushing it up against the roots of the next tooth.
- Distoangular impaction: With this type, the tooth grows at an angle toward the back of the mouth.
Problems Caused by Impacted Wisdom Teeth
Many dentists recommend wisdom teeth removal before these molars cause issues to prevent common, painful symptoms. Impacted wisdom teeth may cause:
- Pain: If teeth only partially break through the gums, a small piece of loose skin can trap food, leading to an infection. Infections can cause pain, swelling, bleeding, red gums, bad breath, and an unusual taste in the mouth. More serious infections such as facial cellulitis can also occur.
- Tooth decay: Impacted wisdom teeth cannot be easily cleaned during regular dental cleanings. Over time, this can lead to decay and cavities.
- Crowding and crooked teeth: As growing wisdom teeth push up against nearby teeth, overcrowding may occur. Eventually, you could require orthodontic treatment to correct crooked teeth from overcrowding.
- Growth: Although rare, a cyst or noncancerous tumor may form, which can require medical intervention.
Contact Us Today
If you notice your wisdom teeth growing in, contact the Calgary offices or Edmonton offices of Dental Choice. In a dental check-up, We can determine if you have enough room for your new teeth to grow and if your other teeth are unaffected by the wisdom teeth.
If you experience any pain, swelling or other symptoms of impacted wisdom teeth, a Dental Choice dentist can review your treatment options to bring you timely relief. Schedule a dental appointment with Dental Choice today.