General Dentistry Wisdom Teeth

If you’ve had trouble with your wisdom teeth, then you know how frustrating it can be to try and eat normally. Your mouth is sore, your jaw aches, and the pressure on the other teeth is unbearable.

Impacted wisdom teeth are a common dental condition. It is thought that they occur due to insufficient space in your jaw for the tooth to grow into. A lot of people end up getting their wisdom teeth removed because they are impacted or have grown in odd directions.

This article will discuss the cause and risks of impacted wisdom teeth, as well as what you should do if you suspect yours are impacted.

The wisdom teeth are the third molars, and they’re the last adult teeth to appear in the oral cavity. These molars are located towards the back of your mouth, two on top and two on the bottom.

Wisdom teeth typically erupt during the late teens and early twenties, but they may also appear in individuals as old as 40 or 50. The term wisdom teeth is generally attributed to them because they develop at an age where people are wiser than as youngsters and when the other teeth erupt.

What Is an Impacted Wisdom Tooth?

An impacted wisdom tooth is one that has not grown normally. They may develop in the wrong direction, coming out sideways, at an odd angle, or partially. Such growth could negatively affect nearby teeth. When a wisdom tooth becomes trapped under your gum or does not have enough room to break through the gum, it is said to be “impacted.” They are more likely to become infected, develop decay and other dental issues.

In cases where a person has 3 or 4 wisdom teeth, but none of them can come out naturally, they may experience difficulty eating, talking clearly, or cleaning their mouth.

What Are the Symptoms of an Impacted Wisdom Tooth?

Many people don’t realise they should get their wisdom teeth surgery until they start causing them pain. So how do you know when you should go through with wisdom tooth removal? If you’re experiencing some or all of the following wisdom teeth symptoms, see a qualified oral surgeon and inquire about wisdom teeth extraction.

In most cases, your dental surgeon will be able to diagnose any potential problems with a simple examination. If necessary, they may take X-rays of the mouth because this can give a clearer image of what is going on in your mouth and where everything is positioned. If you have an impacted wisdom tooth, you’ll likely need surgery to remove the problem before it becomes worse and more problematic than it has to be.

What Causes Impacted Wisdom Tooth?

Any tooth which doesn’t erupt into the mouth and becomes trapped either under the soft tissue or against another tooth can become impacted.

Impacted wisdom teeth can be of two types. First, a partially impacted wisdom tooth erupts partly, exposing a portion of the crown. Second, the term “completely impacted” refers to a tooth that never penetrates the gums.

Lack of space: The most common reason that wisdom teeth don’t come in is that there isn’t enough space for them to fit comfortably into your jaw. 

Impaction at an odd angle: A wisdom tooth can get impacted in various ways; one of them is if it grows at an incorrect angle, which later distorts the other teeth and generates a chain of dental issues.

Whether it is a partially or fully impacted wisdom tooth, the following conditions may occur:

Complications of an Impacted Wisdom Tooth

Impacted wisdom teeth can cause many potential complications:

  • Damage to neighbouring teeth: A wisdom tooth may push against the second molar, and this pressure can damage or infect that area. When improper dental development occurs, the teeth in the surrounding area may be pushed out of alignment and require orthodontic treatment to be corrected. 
  • Cysts: An impacted wisdom tooth may cause dental cysts, a rare but potentially severe dental complication. The wisdom teeth grow in a sac in the jawbone, and the cyst develops when the sac is filled with fluid. It may also cause harm to the jawbone, tooth loss, and dental nerve damage. Very rarely, a benign tumour may form and necessitate the removal of bone or bone tissue. 
  • Tooth Decay: Partially impacted wisdom teeth are more prone to dental caries than other teeth. It is most likely because wisdom teeth are more difficult to clean, germs and food debris accumulate between the gum and a partially erupted tooth. 

  • Gum disease: No matter how good your oral hygiene is, cleaning the surrounding area can be difficult if the wisdom teeth have not fully emerged. As a result, gum disease can become more prevalent. The pain and inflammation caused by the impacted partially erupted wisdom teeth increase the chance of getting a painful, gum infection condition known as pericoronitis.

Risks of Ignoring Impacted Wisdom Tooth

If your wisdom teeth are causing you discomfort or pain, it’s worth visiting the dental clinic to see whether they need to be removed. They may take dental x-rays in order to check the source of your suffering.

However, neglecting wisdom teeth discomfort may be harmful to your health. It is because the discomfort is caused by one or more of the following:

Untreated dental infections can result in gum disease and other oral health problems. Additionally, if you don’t have enough space in your mouth for your wisdom tooth to grow in a correct position, it will damage the tissue around this area of your mouth, potentially leading to an increased risk or severity regarding inflammation that may lead to many dental issues.

When Should I Visit a Dentist?

If you have any concerns about your impacted wisdom teeth growth, please schedule an appointment with your dentist immediately. It isn’t necessary to wait until you experience symptoms, such as pain or swelling. By the time symptoms occur, it is usually too late to save your tooth, and a surgical procedure will be required to remove it.

It is one of those situations in which the sooner the treatment, the better. It is because it is simpler to have wisdom tooth extraction for younger patients as opposed to older ones. Also, the recovery time will be shorter.

Removal of wisdom teeth isn’t always straightforward. Consult with your dentist or an oral surgeon about the health and position of your wisdom teeth, as well as what’s best for you.

Final Thoughts

I hope this blog post has helped you better understand the effects of an impacted wisdom tooth. It can be challenging to live with, but it doesn’t have to stay that way. If you are experiencing any symptoms of an impacted wisdom tooth or would like more information on how we may be able to help, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us today at Burwood Dental Care (03) 7003 2011. 

We can assess the situation and find out what options are available for treatment. Our team of dental service professionals will help you get back on track with your oral health by using state-of-the-art treatments, including surgical removal service or endodontic therapy if necessary.

We look forward to hearing from you and helping make your smile as healthy as possible.

Dental Restrictions Officially Lifted As of 22/10/21

As advised by Victoria's Chief Health Officer and Premier Daniel Andrews, it is expected that from 11.59 pm Thursday, October 21, 2021, the current COVID-19 restrictions will be lifted for Greater Melbourne.

Lockdown restrictions have now been lifted across Victoria. The Authorised Worker list no longer applies which means that dental practices can return to pre-lockdown settings with no restrictions on patient access to care.

Learn More