Impacted wisdom teeth occur when the jaw bone is not large enough to accommodate the eruption of the teeth. The third molars becomemalpositioned and remain "impacted" below the bone and gum tissue. The roots of the teeth continue to grow and the teeth attempt to erupt, often creating pressure on the back of the second molars. This can cause dental crowding, cyst formation or partial eruption which results in wisdom tooth pain and infection (pericoronitis). Impacted third molars are usually recommended for removal because these problems can cause serious damage to the adjacent teeth and jaw bone.
Dental caries, or tooth decay is the most common problem associated with erupted wisdom teeth which have managed to erupt into the dental arch. These teeth are located out of easy reach for a toothbrush or floss. Because they are so difficult to keep clean, they often decay or contribute to decay of adjacent teeth. Removal of these third molars makes dental hygiene more manageable and aids in the maintenance of healthy gum tissue, reducing the risk of periodontal disease in the molar area.
Erupted wisdom teeth are at an increased risk of tooth decay. These teeth often harbor and support the growth of harmful bacteria which can lead to gum disease spreading to the other permanent teeth. Decayed wisdom teeth can become infected, abscessed and extremely painful.
|Erupted Wisdom Teeth||Impacted Wisdom Teeth||Partially Impacted Wisdom Teeth||Pericoronitis – Infected Wisdom Teeth|
Symptoms of Wisdom Teeth Problems
Patients with advanced disease of the wisdom teeth often complain of painful symptoms. Some symptoms associated with wisdom teeth problems include: