Wisdom teeth are a normal stage in the young adult life. Wisdom teeth grow in later in life, behind the molars and are known as the third molars. Wisdom teeth do not need to be removed if they grow in properly, and in some cases they don’t grow in at all. Wisdom teeth become an issue for people when they are impacted and begin growing into other teeth.
When wisdom teeth grow in crooked, it can cause an overcrowding in the mouth and potentially push and move your other teeth. This can cause severe pain and other jaw problems – which is why dentists, periodontists, and oral surgeons recommend having them removed.
When you begin feeling pain, you should see your dentist for help. At this time, your dentist will x-ray your jaw to find how many wisdom teeth you have and how they are beginning to grow in. In most cases, you may not realize your wisdom teeth are coming in. This causes issues because you may become infected and swollen from how the teeth are growing.
Another common issue behind wisdom teeth is when a person’s jaw is too small to have them grow in. In these cases, the teeth are usually crowded and there is not enough space for the wisdom tooth to grow. The wisdom tooth then gets trapped in the gums and is not able to split through the gums. A tooth that is unable to break through the gums is called an impacted tooth. Sometimes, the wisdom teeth may break through the gum, but only partially. Here, a small piece of the gum forms a soft flap at the back of the wisdom tooth/teeth, called an operculum. Food getting trapped in the operculum is inevitable and cleaning the operculum cannot be done using an ordinary toothbrush.
If you are experiencing pain, go to your dentist to see if the cause is from your wisdom teeth. If you become a young adult and have not started experiencing pain, you should see your dentist for regular checkups to have them catch the teeth growth. Consult your dentist today and schedule an appointment.