Wisdom Teeth

Wisdom teeth are a type of molar. Molars are the chewing teeth found furthest in the back of the mouth. These teeth come in usually during a person’s late teens or early twenties. Typically a person will have four wisdom teeth.

What are Impacted wisdom teeth?

Impacted refers to a tooth that has failed to emerge fully into its expected position. The failure to erupt properly might occur because there is not enough room in a person’s jaw to accommodate the tooth, or because the angulation of the tooth is improper.

Why Is It Done?

A wisdom tooth may be extracted to correct a problem or to prevent problems that may arise later. Some of the potential problems of wisdom teeth coming in are:

  • Your jaw may not be large enough, and they may become impacted and unable to break through your gums.
  • Your wisdom teeth may partially break through the gums, which could cause a flap of gum tissue to grow over them. Food and germs may get trapped under the flap and cause your gums to become red, swollen, and painful from infection.
  • Other serious problems can develop from having impacted teeth, such as infection, damage to other teeth or bone, or a cyst.
  • One or more of your wisdom teeth may come in at an incorrect angle, with the top of the tooth facing forward, backward, or to one side.

What Does It Prevent?

Wisdom tooth removal usually is effective in preventing:

  • Crowding of the back teeth.
  • A wisdom tooth becoming impacted in the jaw and not breaking through the gums.
  • Red, swollen, and painful gums caused by the flap of skin around a partially emerged wisdom tooth.
  • Tooth decay and gum disease in the wisdom tooth, which can be more difficult to clean than other teeth, or in the teeth and jaw in the wisdom tooth area.