Our third molars, otherwise known as the “wisdom teeth,” are the largest teeth in our mouth. Therefore, they are highly likely to be impacted. As time has passed, the human jaw has evolved to become smaller, and most people don’t have enough room for the wisdom teeth to erupt properly.
It’s important to know the signs of impacted wisdom teeth so that you can take action and consult with an oral surgeon to be evaluated for a possible wisdom tooth extraction. Having impacted wisdom teeth extracted can have great benefits for your oral health and your overall wellbeing.
Signs Of Impacted Wisdom Teeth
The wisdom teeth usually erupt sometime in the late teen years, so if you are past that age and your wisdom teeth have not yet come in, they are likely impacted. A number of additional symptoms can indicate that your wisdom teeth are impacted.
- Discomfort at the rear of the jaw
- Issues with the gum tissue at the rear of the jaw
- Difficulty chewing or opening the mouth
However, impacted wisdom teeth are not always symptomatic and the development of problems can’t necessarily be predicted, so patients in their late teens and early twenties may still benefit from a consultation with an oral surgeon.
What To Do If Your Wisdom Teeth Might Be Impacted
If you believe that your wisdom teeth may be impacted, it’s important to consult with an oral surgeon for further evaluation. Doing so can protect your oral health, as impacted wisdom teeth can cause a variety of problems, including:
- Increased vulnerability to infections and abscesses
- Cysts and tumors
- Damage to surrounding teeth
- Pushing erupted teeth out of alignment
Patients should also keep in mind that it is far easier to remove the wisdom teeth in older teens and in young adults. As you age, the roots of the wisdom teeth become more entrenched, making it more challenging to remove them. We recommend wisdom tooth extraction no later than age 25.
If you think your wisdom teeth may be impacted, call the office of Dr. Robert Peak to schedule a consultation.