One of the most well-known facts about third molars, which are often known as wisdom teeth, is the fact that many people who have them often have to have them extracted. However, even when wisdom teeth start to cause trouble, many people fail to recognize the warning, or believe that it isn’t that big of a deal. Today, we examine the importance of impacted wisdom teeth by answering a few common questions about the condition, and how you can preserve your oral health by removing them as soon as possible.
Why do wisdom teeth become impacted?
Your third molars are the last set of permanent molars to develop along your dental ridge, just after your second set of molars. They’re often referred to as wisdom teeth because they don’t typically start to grow in until the ages of 18-25, which used to be known as the age of wisdom. By this time, however, many people have already completely or nearly completely filled out the space on their dental ridges, and there is little or no room left for a third set of molars to erupt properly. The crowding can lead to the impaction of one or more of your third molars as they attempt to grow and erupt from your gums.
What if your wisdom teeth don’t hurt?
The problem with impacted wisdom teeth is that, despite being impacted, they won’t stop trying to erupt. They’ll continue to grow against the jawbone structure and/or tooth structure that impedes them. However, this doesn’t always cause immediately severe discomfort, and you may not feel the pain of the impaction until the condition has already grown severe. The lack of discomfort doesn’t mean that your wisdom tooth development hasn’t been impeded, which is why many people don’t notice the impaction until their other teeth begin to show signs of it.
What other signs can indicate wisdom tooth impaction?
As one or more wisdom teeth push against the molars closest to them, they may begin to force them out of alignment, resulting in changes in how your teeth look and your bite feels. Changes in your tooth alignment can impact the overall balance of your bite, as well as the cosmetic appearance of your smile. It can also lead to increased risks of damage to other teeth due to the bite imbalance, and heighted risks conditions like tooth decay, gum disease, and more. If given enough time, the impaction will also begin to cause severe discomfort if it hasn’t already.
Learn about extracting impacted wisdom teeth
Not every wisdom tooth causes a problem, but not every problem is immediately noticeable. To learn more about impacted wisdom teeth, or to schedule a consultation, call Santa Rosa and Rohnert Park Oral Surgery in Santa Rosa, CA, today at 707-545-4625.