Humans have 4 types of teeth – Incisors, Canines, Premolars & Molars. Wisdom teeth are one type of molar. Technically, wisdom teeth are the third molars that erupt, usually in late teens or early twenties. They are the last teeth to erupt and because they erupt latter in life, they are referred to as “Wisdom Teeth.”
WHAT ARE “IMPACTED” WISDOM TEETH?
Technically an “impacted” tooth refers to one that has failed to fully emerge into its expected position. Reasons for this failure to erupt properly include many factors such as not enough room in the person’s jaw to accommodate the tooth, the tooth’s eruption path is obstructed by other teeth or because the angulation of the tooth is improper.
Symptoms Associated With Impacted Wisdom Teeth
Most problems with wisdom teeth affect people between the ages of 15 and 25. People older than 30 usually don’t have problems that require their wisdom teeth to be removed. Symptoms associated with impacted wisdom teeth include:
- Pain / swelling around the wisdom tooth
- Bad taste in your mouth
- Bad breath
- Swollen glands
If you experience any of these symptoms you may need to schedule a consultation with your dentist. The earlier you have your dentist address your symptoms, the sooner the problem can be resolved. Should you allow the symptoms to persist, you could cause further damage to other teeth or your gum tissue. Keeping regular appointments with your dentist will enable you to avoid many difficulties of impacted wisdom teeth.
DO WISDOM TEETH NEED TO BE EXTRACTED?
According to most dentists, it is not necessary to remove an impacted wisdom tooth, as it depends on many factors. Many times the wisdom teeth can be impacted but are neither symptomatic or causing any associated side effects. In such cases the wisdom teeth can be left alone. Bottom line: the decision to retain or surgically extract normal or impacted wisdom teeth depends on the condition of the site and the general health status of the patient.
At the dental office of Dr. Velma Cooper, we offer solutions for anyone interested in transforming their smile. To arrange your Smile Makeover consultation, call our office today at 919-806-3007. For your convenience, you can use our online Request an Appointment form to schedule your preferred consultation time with Dr. Cooper.