For many of us, having wisdom teeth removed during adolescence was considered somewhat of a rite of passage. Though the removal of wisdom teeth while young is still a relatively common practice, few know why that is, or what the potential consequences are of waiting to have them removed.
What Are Wisdom Teeth?
Located in the very back of the mouth, your wisdom teeth are the last teeth to break through the gums. These four teeth, also known as your third set of molars, usually develop around 17 to 21 years old. In most cases, they will either fully erupt or become impacted if they are not removed.
What Is an Impacted Wisdom Tooth?
This refers to your wisdom tooth stuck below the surface of your gums. It happens when they are blocked by nearby teeth and there is no space in your jawbone for the wisdom tooth to emerge, causing it to grow on a different angle and lead to dental problems. This can result in severe pain and inflammation in the mouth and jaw area and can include developing an infection, decay, and even having a cyst or gum disease.
For that reason, the dentist may advise the patient to undergo surgery to remove the impacted tooth, even if they may not feel any symptoms. Some of the symptoms which a few patients may feel are:
- Bleeding gums
- pain or swelling in the jaw
- Difficulty opening the mouth
- Constant bad breaths
Diagnosis and Treatment
There are two main types of impacted wisdom teeth:
- Partially impacted (some of the tooth is visible)
- Fully impacted (the entire tooth is below the gum line)
In either case, an impacted wisdom tooth must be dealt with. To know if you have this issue, an Afdent dentist will have to take an X-ray of your mouth. This will show whether all your teeth are aligned and if some teeth or bones are affected. After that, we will discuss how your impacted tooth can be treated.
For treatment, you will have to undergo an outpatient surgical procedure to remove the tooth, which will take around 30 minutes to an hour. Removing the tooth before the roots are fully formed makes an extraction easier and the healing faster. Should they become impacted, a simple surgery can be performed to remove them.
Reach Out to Your Dentist
It’s important to have your teeth checked if you experience any symptoms leading to impacted wisdom teeth. In this way, you can immediately have it treated and minimize the risk of developing a more serious dental issue. To book a dental checkup, contact Afdent Patient Friendly Dentistry. Our dentists in Fort Wayne and Mishawaka are ready to assist you with any dental problems you may have.