Often I see patients at my practice who are unaware that the discomfort they are experiencing is a result of impacted wisdom teeth. Today I’m going to answer some basic questions about wisdom teeth removal in order to give you a better understanding of the types of problems they can cause.

When Do Wisdom Teeth Erupt?

Some people never get wisdom teeth, but many others will have anywhere from one to four. Wisdom teeth, or “third molars”, located at the back of the mouth, are the last teeth to erupt – generally in your teenage years or early twenties. Often there is inadequate space in the mouth to allow wisdom teeth to erupt properly, resulting in an impacted tooth. Left untreated, impacted wisdom teeth can lead to a number of serious and potentially dangerous problems.

What Kind of Problems Can Impacted Wisdom Teeth Create?

While not all wisdom tooth removal is required, our Spokane, Cheney Dentist or oral surgeon performs a tooth extraction when an active problem such as pain, swelling, decay or infection exists, or as a preventative measure to avoid serious problems in the future, such as:

  • Damage to nearby teeth: Second molars (the teeth in front of the wisdom teeth) can be adversely affected by impacted wisdom teeth, resulting in tooth decay and gum disease.
  • Infection: Bacteria and food can become trapped under the gum tissue, resulting in an infection. These infections can be dangerous as well as painful.
  • Tooth Crowding: Impacted wisdom teeth can put pressure on surrounding teeth and cause them to become misaligned, crowded or twisted.
  • Disease: Occasionally, cysts and tumors can occur in the areas surrounding impacted wisdom teeth. An oral surgeon can address these issues efficiently.

How Can I Tell If My Wisdom Teeth Are A Problem?

Early evaluation and treatment (typically in the mid-teen years) is recommended in order to identify potential problems and to improve results for patients requiring wisdom teeth extractions. At Spokane, Spokane Valley, Cheney Dental Office we can provide a thorough examination and suggest the best options for your particular case.