Those who have symptomatic impacted wisdom teeth regard them as “trouble”. Wisdom teeth are also called third molars and it is not unusual for these teeth to become “stuck”, wedged in or what we call impacted. The teeth positioning can make it become a nidus for infection, there could be decay, damage to the adjacent teeth, crowding and in some situation when the teeth are fully embedded it can be associated with some jaw tumours and jaw cysts.

 

They are the last teeth to appear in the mouth and often there is no adequate room for them. Most people have four wisdom teeth but up to 10% of the population missing one or more. There are many problems associated with wisdom teeth when they are impacted. It could be one of the reasons why one will visit a dental clinic, it could cause some problems especially when it is infected varying from discomfort, gum swelling, pain, mouth odour, inability to fully open the mouth, fever  among others. In view of these, talking to your dentist about the status of every of your wisdom tooth is essential.

  1. INFECTION:
  • When a wisdom tooth partially erupt into the mouth there is often a partial flap of the gum directly around the tooth which often accommodate food particles and act as nidus for infection. Serious infection may develop around this area especially when food packs between the teeth and the flap. The area may become swollen, red and very painful. Swallowing may be painful and sometimes one can feel generally sick.
  • Sometimes, there can be a discharge of pus and this may have a foul taste associated with it. Often if the infection around the wisdom teeth is severe antibiotic therapy may be required.
  • Some of the predisposing factors to the swelling of the gum around this tooth is when one’s immunity is compromised, stress etc.
  • An inflammatory and infectious condition that may accompany the clinical emergence of  these teeth is called PERICORONITIS

  1. DECAY:
  • When the wisdom teeth become stuck, proper cleaning becomes compromised and they can become decayed over time due to poor accessibility
  • Often times, they can cause decay in the tooth in front .The decay can be so bad that it can be very difficult to place fillings in these situations prior to the removal of the wisdom teeth.
  1. CROWDING:
  • Some kind of pressure exerted by impacted wisdom teeth can be one of the causes of crowding of the front teeth.
  • Though, some people with no wisdom teeth still get crowding but itz is believed to be a significant contributing factor.
  • This is particularly disappointing if you have undergone orthodontic therapy to correct misaligned teeth.
  1. DAMAGE TO ADJACENT TEETH:
  • Pressure exerted by impacted wisdom teeth can also cause a serious damage to the adjacent teeth.
  • Food packing between the adjacent tooth and the wisdom tooth can cause holes in both teeth and cause bone loss on the back of the good tooth. Thus, if a problematic impacted wisdom tooth does not get the expected attention on time ,it may transfer aggression to the adjacent tooth
  1. JAW/CYSTS:
  • Some known jaw tumours have been linked to embedded third molars in some patients and also a fluid filled sack called a cyst on rare occasions have been found around the crown of  impacted wisdom teeth.
  1. LINE OF WEAKNESS IN THE JAW BONE:
  • An impacted wisdom tooth causes a weakness in the jaw bone which could result in a broken jaw if the jaw bone is struck such as during boxing or other contact sports.

 

In conclusion, if you don’t want your third molars to make life difficult for you, you need to take precautionary measures to prevent the problems synonymous with impacted wisdom teeth. Get it checked for you.

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