There’s no question about it — impacted wisdom teeth can spell real problems for your mouth. At Bella Dental in Katy TX, we advise our patients that even if they’re not experiencing pain and swelling now, chances are wisdom teeth that don’t fully “erupt” may cause trouble down the line.
What are wisdom teeth?
Sometime between ages 17 to 25, most people develop one “wisdom tooth” in each quadrant toward the back of their mouths — in other words, the left and right sides of both the upper and lower sets of teeth. That makes four wisdom teeth in total, although some young adults develop more or fewer. We don’t need these teeth for full dental function — in fact they’re usually more trouble than they’re worth. The most common problem are “impacted” wisdom teeth, meaning those that haven’t fully “erupted” because they don’t have room to do so.
What are minor complaints associated with impacted wisdom teeth?
Perhaps you’ve started noticing food trapped behind your teeth more often, a common complaint from people experiencing impacted wisdom teeth. Some Bella Dental patients make an appointment when they notice soft or hard bumps forming in that back region of their mouths; cysts and tumors are also a common secondary problem around wisdom teeth. Finally, you may experience bad breath or an unpleasant taste, due to rotting debris or from actual tooth decay.
What major problems may stem from impacted wisdom teeth?
You may experience pain and swelling when your wisdom teeth become impacted. Of course, general achiness is one component of an overcrowded mouth. In addition, impacted wisdom teeth can cause gum disease and cavities, and can also cause cracks in surrounding bones and neighboring teeth — all adding up to extreme sensitivity, and even severe pain.
What do impacted wisdom teeth look like?
Though they’re hard to see by yourself, due to their out-of-the-way location, wisdom teeth that don’t fully erupt usually don’t resemble their healthy neighbors. During your consultation at Bella Dental, we’ll show you if your Impacted wisdom teeth are growing at an angle toward other teeth, or even appearing to lay horizontally. Alternatively, a wisdom tooth may remain vertical, but be sunk deep into your jawbone. All of these positions can cause problems.
What if I’m not having any of those issues?
A consultation with our team at Bella Dental can help you make the crucial decision about whether it’s time for your wisdom teeth to go — pain or no pain. Even non-symptomatic impacted wisdom teeth can lead to problems, such as the stubborn angle that makes cleaning impossible. If you have braces or need other periodontal work, non-erupted wisdom teeth often make it difficult for your other teeth to be straightened properly.
There’s one final reason to ask your Bella Dental team about preventive extraction. Younger patients bounce back quickly from the removal of wisdom teeth. If they should need extracting when you’re older, you’re somewhat more likely to have complications from the procedure.
How Bella Dental can help
If your or your teen are having the telltale discomfort or swelling associated with impacted wisdom teeth, call our team of dental professionals today. Located in Katy, TX, Bella Dental is here to evaluate if you need corrective or preventative wisdom tooth extraction.
Should extraction be necessary, we’ll go over how you should prepare for the procedure, what will be involved, and what to do during your recovery.