For many people who develop wisdom teeth, or third molars, their development often comes with problems. Due to a lack of space at the ends of the dental ridges where they try to erupt, wisdom teeth can often become impacted before they have a chance to fully emerge from the gum line. While wisdom tooth impaction can lead to a host of severe problems if left untreated, it may not always be easy to tell if they’ve become impacted at first.
Why third molars become impacted
Your third set of permanent molars typically begin to develop between the ages of 18-25 years old, after all of your other permanent teeth have already developed along your dental ridge. The problem for some people is that the space on their dental ridge is mostly taken up after the second permanent molars have developed. This means the third molars have little or no room to develop or erupt at the ends of the dental ridges, which causes them to become impacted by the second molars or the surrounding jawbone structure.
Signs that your wisdom teeth are in trouble
When a third molar first starts to develop, you may not notice it right away. If the molar becomes impacted, you might also not realize it until it starts to cause trouble. For example, the pressure of the impaction can cause radiating pain in your dental ridge around the molar, which will grow more intense as the wisdom tooth continues to grow. You may also experience pain in the nearby molar, or changes to its alignment and position as the wisdom tooth continues to push against it. In addition to the discomfort, the impacted molar may also cause damage to the molar closest to it, and you may need restorative treatment to repair it as part of your overall treatment.
When to consider extracting wisdom teeth
If you notice that your wisdom teeth have started to hurt or are causing pain in the dental ridge around them, then it may be a sign that your third molars need to be extracted. However, you may detect the problem earlier by sticking to a routine schedule of dental exams and cleanings, during which your dentist may spot signs of wisdom tooth impaction and recommend you to a specialist to have them surgically extracted.
Learn if your wisdom teeth need extraction
If your wisdom teeth have become impacted, then learn why it’s important to extract them as soon as possible. To learn more, or to schedule a consultation, call Santa Rosa and Rohnert Park Oral Surgery in Santa Rosa, CA, today at 707-545-4625.