Wisdom teeth, also known as third molars, often start to erupt sometime during a person’s late teens or early twenties. But believe it or not, your wisdom teeth start growing at a much younger age and are usually visible on your dental X-rays even before high school.
Unfortunately, these molars can become impacted, meaning they don’t have enough space to fully erupt through the gums in line with the other teeth. Impacted wisdom teeth can cause a variety of problems, including pain, swelling, and crowding of other teeth.
If you suspect you have impacted wisdom teeth, it’s important to know what to do next.
Taking an X-ray or Scan of Your Wisdom Teeth
One of the easiest ways to determine if you have impacted wisdom teeth is by taking an X-ray or scan of your mouth during your dental checkup. During this test, our Mesa dentist will use a specialized machine to take images of your wisdom teeth and surrounding oral anatomy. The images will provide a clear view of the position and development of your wisdom teeth and whether they are impacted or not.
Depending on the position and angulation of your wisdom teeth, it’s usually easy to tell if they will become impacted at some point.
Pain or Swelling
Another sign of impacted wisdom teeth is pain or swelling in the area surrounding the molars. The pressure from the impacted tooth can cause discomfort or even pain in the jaw, gums, and surrounding tissues as it presses into them. Swelling or tenderness may also be present, indicating the presence of an impacted wisdom tooth.
However, even properly erupting wisdom teeth may cause some soreness, similar to the irritation experienced during “teething” at a much younger age.
Partially-Erupted Wisdom Teeth
If your wisdom teeth have partially erupted through the gums, they may be partially impacted. This occurs when there isn’t enough space in your mouth for the wisdom teeth to fully erupt all the way, causing them to become partially trapped within the gums and bone tissue. If you notice that your wisdom teeth have partially erupted, it’s important to schedule a consultation with a dentist to assess the situation and determine if removal is necessary.
Partially erupted wisdom teeth are at high risk for cavities and periodontal infections simply because they’re difficult—and almost impossible—to keep clean. If they become infected, it poses a risk to the healthy tooth next to it.
Do My Wisdom Teeth Need to be Removed?
The answer to this question will depend on the individual case. Some people may never experience any problems with their wisdom teeth and may never need to have them removed. However, for many people, impacted wisdom teeth can lead to significant problems, including pain, swelling, and even damage to other teeth. In these cases, it’s often necessary to remove the impacted wisdom teeth to prevent further problems from occurring.
Dr. Huynh will want to monitor your wisdom tooth development over time. That way, he can intercept possible issues like infection or pain before they have a chance to develop.
Why Do Wisdom Teeth Get Impacted?
Wisdom teeth can become impacted for a variety of reasons, including a lack of space in the mouth and misalignment of the jaw. In some cases, the wisdom teeth may be angled incorrectly, causing them to become trapped within the gum tissue. Additionally, some people simply don’t have enough space in their mouths to accommodate their wisdom teeth, which can cause them to get “stuck” under their gums.
Wisdom Tooth Consultations in Mesa
If you’re experiencing symptoms of impacted wisdom teeth or are concerned about the development of your wisdom teeth, schedule a consultation with Dr. Huynh at Eastport Dental in Mesa, AZ. Dr. Huynh is a skilled and compassionate dentist who has years of experience in the diagnosis and treatment of impacted wisdom teeth. During your consultation, he will assess your mouth, discuss your symptoms, and provide you with a personalized treatment plan to help you achieve optimal oral health.
Reserve a Consultation Today
Don’t let impacted wisdom teeth cause damage to your smile. Schedule a consultation at Eastport Dental in Mesa today. With years of experience and a commitment to providing the highest quality dental care, Dr. Huynh is the perfect choice for anyone who is looking for a skilled and compassionate dentist. Don’t wait; reserve a consultation today and take the first step towards a healthy, pain-free smile for you or your teen!