Wisdom Teeth: Why Do They Become Impacted?

Team Wisdom Teeth

Wisdom teeth are technically known as third molars and they are the last set of permanent molars to develop in the mouth. These teeth generally begin to erupt or grow into place between the ages of 17 and 21. By this age, most adults have reached an age of physical maturity and the jaw bone ceases to grow.

It is during this complicated time that the wisdom teeth can become symptomatic. Since these teeth are positioned at the very rear of the mouth, there is often a lack of space to accommodate these teeth. The wisdom teeth also have an inherent tendency to grow sideways, backwards, or even diagonally.

What Are The Complications Of Impacted Wisdom Teeth?
The wisdom tooth may grow into a sac in the jawbone which fills with fluid, creating a cyst. This cyst can damage the jawbone, as well as the teeth and nerves nearby. Sometimes a noncancerous tumor may form, but this is rare. Tissue and bone may have to be surgically removed.

The tooth next to the wisdom tooth, the second molar becomes more prone to infection if something is pushing against it. The pressure can lead to general crowding of the teeth and the patient may need orthodontic treatment to straighten crooked teeth.

A wisdom tooth that is partially impacted or partially concealed by gum tissue and bone is much more difficult to keep clean. Unfortunately, failing to keep all areas of the mouth free from food particles and plaque bacteria can result in a number of complications. Tooth decay, gum disease, inflammation, and halitosis can become unpleasant and uncomfortable realities.

Signs Your Wisdom Teeth Are Impacted
Oftentimes, impacted wisdom teeth show no symptoms, however, when they do, symptoms vary and can either be mild or severe. The following are the most common signs.
• Headaches
• Halitosis
• Difficulty opening your mouth
• Tender, swollen, or bleeding gums
• Swelling in the jaw area
• Pain when chewing

To find out if your wisdom teeth have become impacted, contact Prestige Oral Surgery at 732-297-7000.