Wisdom teeth are the third molars within the upper and bottom gums, located at the back of the mouth. These teeth are referred to as wisdom teeth because they usually develop when a person is between 17-31 years of age – which is when young adults become “wiser”. Wisdom teeth that are healthy and positioned properly rarely cause any problems. However, this is not usually the case.
Wisdom teeth often break partway through your gums, which causes a flap of gum to grow over them. This often causes food to become trapped inside and develop a gum infection. Wisdom teeth can also grow in imperfectly, crooked, or facing the wrong direction. This usually happens when your jaw is not large enough to give them enough space to grow. Wisdom teeth can become impacted and are basically unable to break through the gums themselves. In these cases, you will experience some pain and difficulty trying to properly clean the area because wisdom teeth are often crowded and so far back inside your mouth.
Any of the symptoms listed below could indicate that you need to undergo a tooth extraction or oral surgery to remove your wisdom teeth:
Most wisdom teeth problems occur in people between the ages of 15 – 25. Few people older than 30 develop problems that require removal of their wisdom teeth.
Your local dentist will closely examine your teeth, gums, and surrounding areas for any signs of a wisdom tooth coming through the gums or crowding nearby teeth. You will have to take some x-rays to find out whether the wisdom teeth are causing problems now or will likely cause more problems in the future.
The most common treatment to solve wisdom teeth problems is to undergo a tooth extraction or oral surgery to remove the tooth completely. This is a topic of much debate as many experts believe removing a wisdom tooth causes more problems, while many others believe they solve symptoms. Oral surgeons at Southwest Oral Surgery generally agree that removing a wisdom tooth is easier in younger people, as the tooth’s roots and the jawbone have not completely developed. If the patient is over the age of 20, the jawbone tends to become harder and the healing process takes much longer. Please contact us right away if you believe you may need wisdom teeth treatment.