Most people develop their wisdom teeth during their teenage years. Human jaws are smaller compared to the ones our ancient ancestors had due to the variety of our modern diet. As a result of these evolutionary changes, there is sometimes not enough room in the human mouth to accommodate for third molars or wisdom teeth to emerge. Due to this lack of space, wisdom teeth may only partially emerge through the gums. This can result in cavities, crowding, or gum infections.
Your wisdom teeth can be a valuable asset if they grow vertically and are aligned properly in your jaw. However, it is not unusual for these teeth to grow diagonally and horizontally, thus causing significant problems for the patient. This uneven growth can be responsible for a myriad of oral health problems including crowding and damage to the adjacent second molars. They can even impact the jawbone itself.
An additional problem with wisdom teeth is that they sometimes do not fully erupt through the gum. This is what is known as Impacted Wisdom Teeth. When your wisdom teeth only partially emerge, the opening around the teeth can become a fertile ground for harmful bacteria to start growing. This can lead eventually to an infection. As a result of this infection, you will feel discomfort, swelling, pain, and illness. Early removal of wisdom teeth is often recommended to avoid future problems and to avoid costly procedures.
With dental exams and x-rays of the mouth, your Lifepath Dentist can determine the position of the wisdom teeth and anticipate if future problems may arise. Regular exams and treatment will also help you keep your gums and teeth strong and healthy, which will prevent costly dental procedures down the road.
When wisdom teeth are aligned properly, and gum tissue is healthy, wisdom teeth do not have to be removed. With a clinical exam and panoramic imaging, we can inform you if you or your child’s wisdom teeth require extraction.
A tooth becomes impacted when there is a lack of space in the dental arch, and its growth is affected by gum, bone or another tooth. There are different kinds of impaction. ‘Mesioangular’ impaction occurs when the tooth grows forward towards the front of the mouth. ‘Vertical’ impaction is when the formed wisdom tooth does not fully erupt through the gum. ‘Horizontal’ impaction, which is not as common as the other two forms of impaction, occurs when the tooth is angled sideways, growing into the roots of the second molar.
Impacted wisdom teeth are usually removed because of the problems they are causing or because of the problems that may arise if they remain in the mouth. In many cases, damage caused by wisdom teeth is not visible on the surface. Your Lifepath Dentist will usually take full X-rays of the mouth to see what is going on underneath the gumline. This will help them to determine what type of extraction may be required.
For all of your wisdom teeth extraction needs in Chestermere, we welcome you to book an appointment for a consultation today. We can also discuss your wisdom teeth options with you at your next hygiene and check-up appointment – just ask! We look forward to hearing from you soon.