Most people develop the last set of teeth between the ages of 17 to 21 years. This third set of molars is commonly known as wisdom teeth, since they come later in life when you're presumably wiser. Wisdom teeth can develop in anyone. A study has shown that at least 53% of people have wisdom teeth during adulthood.
Also, you may not see or feel wisdom teeth, but they may be under the gums. Sometimes, they fail to erupt and won't even be visible. You can only confirm if you have them under your gums by use of an x-ray.
Knowing whether you have wisdom teeth is critical for your health. They potentially cause oral health problems that can lead to lots of pain and gum infection. Wisdom teeth that do not erupt over your gums are known as impacted wisdom teeth. They can cause more problems than visible wisdom teeth.
Your dentist or oral surgeon will help you decide on the proper treatment to prevent pain in your wisdom teeth. It would be best to learn the warning signs that you may have troublesome wisdom teeth. This blog post covers some of the main symptoms of wisdom teeth that you need to look out for and consult a dentist or oral surgeon to have them removed.
Signs & Symptoms
As human beings grow, their jaws become smaller over time. At about 18 years old, the jaws have reached maximum growth and have limited space to accommodate any more teeth. Wisdom teeth emerge later from about 16 years old. It causes several problems with your existing teeth. Some of the common issues associated with wisdom teeth include:
- Crooked teeth
- Increased tooth decay
- The wisdom teeth grow sideways
- Crowded teeth
- Jaw pain
- Development of cysts and possibly tumors
If you experience any of these issues, then removal of the teeth is necessary to keep healthy. The American Dental Association also suggests that any troublesome wisdom teeth be removed immediately due to their severe impact on health.
Here are the signs and symptoms that you may experience until you remove the tooth.
Persistent Pain & Infection
Some wisdom teeth may cause you considerable pain right at the tooth site or when you open your mouth. It is worse if it suffers impact because it has no space to erupt outside your jaw. Since there is not enough room, it has to force its way out by tilting sideways or pressing against the teeth in front of it.
Other impacted teeth are painless, and you may never feel their presence. But later, they try to erupt, leading to swelling of the overlying gum and causing severe pains. You will experience pain in the nearby teeth or the area on the side of your teeth. The pain will increase as long as the teeth remain untreated.
It can also lead to infection as the impacted teeth will collect debris, food, and plaque that causes gum swelling, tooth decay, and pericoronitis. Pericoronitis is an infection resulting from a combination of bacteria, food, plaque, and other debris that gets trapped within the space of an impacted tooth and your gum. The infection typically spreads from the throat up to the neck if left untreated.
Stiffness in Jaw & Swollen Gums
When your wisdom teeth grow and meet other teeth on the way, they tend to push. Such movement causes stiffness in your jaw, leading to soreness and pain. Also, the gum will swell at the back of the mouth when they try to erupt, the shifting can lead to swelling where the wisdom tooth is growing.
Most red and swollen gums result from partial wisdom teeth still trying to erupt but have no space. It will also cause pericoronitis, since such surfaces are challenging to clean due to pain.
You may also start experiencing various signs of gum diseases or infections. They include:
- Gums become tender and start bleeding
- A lot of pain and swelling in the gum
- Pus coming from your gum
- Pain when you try to open your mouth
- Lymph glands feel swollen and sore
Cysts & Cavities
Ignoring wisdom teeth can lead to cysts and benign jaw tumors that form a sac of accumulated fluid and affect the region's area. This infection will damage all the roots of teeth nearby and, in rare cases, lead to bone destruction.
Tooth cavities and decay are common with impacted teeth. Pushing the neighboring molars during their growth forces the molars to move, leaving gaps and spaces between the teeth that collect food, debris, and bacteria that easily affect your teeth, leading to decay and cavities.
Sinus Issues & Eating Difficulty
Some people can tell the growth of their wisdom teeth by feeling pain in the sinus. The wisdom teeth can develop roots that push against your sinuses located above or behind. The pressure from this development will cause headaches and sinus pain.
Also, the teeth can grow sideways and lead to a crowded mouth, resulting in difficulties in opening and closing your mouth. You will experience pain when trying to chew or eat any food. The result is a bad breath with an unpleasant taste that you feel constantly.
Wisdom Teeth Removal at North Shore Smile Surgery
If you are experiencing any of the above signs and symptoms, you may have impacted your wisdom teeth, and it would help to visit a dentist or oral surgeon. The dentist or oral surgeon carries out a thorough examination of your mouth formula and uses x-rays to confirm if you have any impacted teeth. If a wisdom tooth is causing all the problems, it will need an extraction.
At North Shore Smile Surgery, Dr. Scott Frank will take care of your teeth and offer effective wisdom tooth removal services. He has years of experience with intense hospital training for comprehensive oral and maxillofacial surgery. He also removes wisdom teeth almost daily, making him the expert you need for this procedure. Schedule your appointment today, saying goodbye to the pain and discomfort caused by impacted teeth.