Wisdom teeth

Wisdom teeth or third molars are supposed to erupt in the mouth from 17 to 25 years, but there is no general rule. Because they erupt at a later age, usually there is not enough space in the jaw for them so they are impacted and trapped in the jaw. On their way to erupting they can cause a lot of pain, infection, they can damage teeth, swollen gums, bleeding, extraoral swelling, limited jaw opening and more. If this happens the third molars have to be extracted. If there is no problem during their eruption there is no need for treatment. The mandibular molars are the most common impacted teeth.

Most people have four wisdom teeth in their mouth, two in each jaw. But in a lot of the cases, people are simply born without third molars. These teeth show a lot of variation in the form and shape. It can happen that they look very much like a second molar, have fewer roots, have a different shape of the crown and more. They should erupt in the mouth after 17 years but before 25. It can also happen that people have gems for only two or three wisdom teeth.

Impacted Wisdom Teeth

These are the teeth that are most commonly impacted. In other words, wisdom teeth can cause a lot of problems. Some patients are not even aware that they have impacted wisdom teeth, and find out only when they get a diagnostic X-ray or get symptoms. Third molars can stay asymptomatic for a very long time. If there is enough space in the mouth they will easily erupt. But there are a number of factors that can get in the way of the eruption and can cause impaction.

wisdom tooth

The most common reason for impaction is lack of space in the jaws. People inherit the size of the jaws from one parent and the size of teeth from the other one. And it happens that a person has a small jaw with large teeth. So there are cases when there is no space for the wisdom tooth to erupt. Other reasons include a dense bone of gum covering the path, the lack of erupting stimulus, a gem that is not in the correct position, a wisdom tooth located somewhere else in the mouth and more. They are diagnosed with a panoramic X-ray. Sometimes it will still be possible for this tooth to erupt, but in most cases, they have to be extracted.

If they are not, wisdom teeth can cause a lot of problems including pericoronitis with swelling, pain,
decay, difficulties in opening and closing the jaw, swollen lymph nodes, stiffness in the jaw, hypersalivation, damage to the surrounding teeth, bacterial infection and more. To prevent all of the above, the third molars have to be surgically extracted. Of course, all of this happens after a consult with a dentist and an oral surgeon. The extraction is done with the use of anesthesia, and the patient will have to get some rest for a few days after the procedure.