The Trouble with Impacted Wisdom Teeth
Wisdom teeth are the four third molars located on the top and bottom gum line in the back of the mouth. These are the last teeth to come in, generally emerging between the ages of 17 and 25. Impacted wisdom teeth can cause pain and dental health challenges for many individuals, in which case, your dentist in Flint may recommend a tooth extraction. For a few individuals, the wisdom teeth emerge without issue, but risk of disease, infection, and future complications remains high, leaving many experts to recommend wisdom teeth removal as a preventive measure. You and a qualified, affordable dentist can work together to determine whether a tooth extraction is required and what is best for you based on your symptoms, medical history, and age.
Symptoms of Impacted Wisdom Teeth
It can be difficult to know if your wisdom teeth are impacted, since symptoms aren’t always present. However, there are some signs that you should be aware of and report to your dentist in Flint to determine the best course of action and whether wisdom teeth removal is necessary. Signs and symptoms of impacted wisdom teeth include:
- Swollen, tender, red, or bleeding gums
- Swelling around the jaw
- Unpleasant odor of the breath
- Foul taste in the mouth
- Headaches of the temporomandibular joint (TMJ), the connection between the jaw and skull
Causes of Impacted Wisdom Teeth
For a majority of individuals, the emergence of the wisdom teeth leads to crowding in the mouth, causing abnormal development. These third molars may remain trapped, or impacted, and cause disease, infection, or disrupt normal growth of the surrounding teeth. There are varying degrees of impacted wisdom teeth: some are partially impacted, showing part of the crown through the gum line, while others never break the gum line and are considered fully impacted. Regardless if some or all of the teeth are fully or partially impacted, the risk of complications remains high.
Complications Associated with Impacted Wisdom Teeth
Complications associated with impacted wisdom teeth can begin as nothing more than mild pain or bleeding gums, but if left untreated, can quickly develop into much larger problems, including:
- Damage to surrounding teeth. The wisdom teeth may push against the second molars, leading to infection or the need for orthodontic work.
- Development of cysts. Wisdom teeth grow in a sac located within the jawbone. This sac can become filled with fluid and develop an uncomfortable or dangerous cyst that can damage the nerves of the teeth, gums, and jaw.
- Gum disease and tooth decay. Wisdom teeth are highly susceptible to infection and decay because this area is often difficult to clean. Food and bacteria easily become trapped between the gum and the teeth and lead to unpleasant outcomes of damage and disease.
When to See your Dentist about Impacted Wisdom Teeth
If you experience pain, inflammation, bleeding gums, or other symptoms at or near the location of your wisdom teeth, schedule a visit with your dentist in Flint immediately. Failure to address the problem can lead to complications, even in the short term.
Even if your wisdom teeth are not causing discomfort, routine check-ups are essential to ensuring your oral health remains intact. Regular x-rays of the teeth can help your dentist ensure your wisdom teeth are not going to become a problem.
To get the dental care you deserve from an affordable dentist in Flint, call Family Dental Group today at (810) 515-8952 or make an appointment.
Family Dental Group offers affordable family dentistry and gentle, compassionate dental care in Flint. Our office is conveniently located with extended hours to meet your needs. At Family Dental Group, we provide most dental services, from basic preventative care and general dentistry to specialized procedures and complete dental reconstruction. We accept most dental insurance plans and offer affordable financial solutions for any budget. Patient satisfaction is our top priority and we strive to provide the exceptional, affordable dental care and personal touch that lead to lasting relationships. A smiling patient is our greatest reward and we look forward to keeping those smiles healthy, beautiful, and bright. Discover an affordable dentist who truly cares at Family Dental Group.