Wisdom Teeth – Overview

Wisdom TeethWisdom teeth are the third and final set of molars located at the back of the mouth. These set of teeth are called so as they emerge when a person is between ages 17 – 25. Wisdom teeth which are healthy and properly positioned will not cause any problem.

What causes Wisdom Teeth Problems?

Wisdom teeth may break apart through the gums, causing a fold of tissue to grow over them where the food gets trapped and gum infection develops. Wisdom teeth also emerge crooked or facing the wrong direction. If the jaw is small and cannot give enough space, then the wisdom teeth become impact and cannot break through the gums. These above factors can cause wisdom teeth problems. You may also find trouble cleaning the wisdom teeth as they are situated at the back of the mouth and are crowded.

Symptoms

Wisdom teeth usually cause no symptoms. However, symptoms mean that the wisdom teeth need to be extracted.

  • Pain and stiffness in the jaw near the tooth
  • Irritation or pain from the tooth due to rubbing against the tongue, cheek or mouth
  • Swelling of the flap of tissue that forms around wisdom teeth which breaks through the gums
  • Crowding of the teeth
  • Gum disease or tooth decay if there is no enough space to care for wisdom and surrounding teeth

Problems develop in between the ages 15 to 25. Some people will also develop problems after the age 30 and they require removal of this wisdom tooth.

Diagnosis

Physical examination of the teeth and gums of wisdom tooth is made carefully by the dentist for the signs of wisdom teeth problems. X-rays will help in determining the problems associated with wisdom tooth.

Treatment

The most common treatment for wisdom tooth problems is extracting the tooth. This is easier before age 20 because the jawbone and teeth roots are not developed completely. After age 20, healing takes longer as the jawbone turns harder.