Instead, if your wisdom teeth fail to erupt properly by your late teen years, you should be evaluated by an oral surgeon to determine if they are impacted and whether extraction might be recommended.
How Wisdom Teeth Become Impacted
Essentially, the modern human jaw is too small for all of the teeth we are born with to come in properly. The third molars (aka “wisdom teeth”) are not only the largest teeth in your mouth but the last to erupt, which makes them highly likely to become impacted.
When the wisdom teeth do erupt properly, they typically do so by the mid-teen years. Patients should be evaluated by an oral surgeon around that time to determine if their wisdom teeth are impacted and consider possible treatment options if necessary.
Why Impacted Wisdom Teeth Can Cause Discomfort
Even when they are impacted, your wisdom teeth have a natural tendency to continue to try to push through the bone and gum tissue surrounding them. This process can trigger sensitive nerve endings and cause some discomfort.
While impacted wisdom teeth can cause discomfort, that symptom isn’t always present. Other issues that can arise from impacted wisdom teeth include:
- Increased susceptibility to cysts and tumors
- Increased risk of infections and abscesses
- Damage to surrounding teeth
- Compromised alignment of the smile
To prevent such consequences, many patients choose to have their wisdom teeth extracted as a preventive measure before any symptoms develop.
Treatment For Impacted Wisdom Teeth
Impacted teeth, including wisdom teeth, typically require treatment by an oral surgeon, as it is necessary to have the surrounding bone and other tissue removed in order to access and extract the tooth.
This surgical extraction is usually completed in a single outpatient appointment, and barring any post-operative complications, patients can resume most normal activity in 2-3 days. Keep in mind that it is advised that patients have their wisdom teeth removed by age 25 for the best outcomes.
Do you think your wisdom teeth may be impacted? Whether or not you’re experiencing any discomfort, you should visit our office for an evaluation. Call Central Oklahoma Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery Associates today to schedule an appointment.