Wisdom teeth, or third molars, do not always erupt properly when they decide to make an appearance. It’s wise to get an early opinion from your dentist on the position of wisdom teeth before they become impacted, causing pain, swelling, infection, cavities or gum disease.

WHY DON’T WISDOM TEETH GROW IN RIGHT?

Although we have seen a reduction in the size of the human jaw during the course of human evolution, we still retain the same number of teeth. The change in jaw size of modern humans is related to the discovery and use of fire to prepare food, and the development of crude tools, such as blades, to process food. As the need for a powerful jaw vanished, the jaw became smaller and the teeth became crowded. The space required for the proper growth of wisdom teeth is no longer available.The modern human mouth is too small to accommodate wisdom teeth, which make their appearance in young adults between the ages of 17-20.

WHAT DOES “IMPACTED” MEAN?

When wisdom teeth don’t have room to grow they are considered impacted,no place to go and no plans to grow. Third molar impaction is the most prevalent dental developmental disorder. A full set of healthy teeth sometimes doesn’t leave much room for wisdom teeth to erupt.

WHAT KIND OF PROBLEMS CAN IMPACTED THIRD MOLARS CAUSE?

Partially erupted wisdom teeth are breeding grounds for bacteria and germs and may lead to infection. In addition to jaw pain and gum disease, which may also develop, impacted third molars are ripe sites for the growth of tumors and cysts. Not all wisdom teeth cause problems, however.

CAN’T I JUST USE AN ANTIBIOTIC?

Antibiotics only soothe infected wisdom teeth for a short time. Since people frequently use a wide variety of antibiotics, the infection may be resistant to such medication and doesn’t solve the real problem: The tooth can’t fit in your mouth.

WHEN IS REMOVAL NECESSARY?

At an early age, people should be evaluated by their dentist who can track third molar development with the help of X-rays. Wisdom teeth should be removed when the decision has been made that they cannot erupt into an acceptable position. People with symptoms of impaction, such as pain, swelling and infection naturally should have their wisdom teeth removed.

HOW IS THE TOOTH REMOVED?

Surgery for impacted wisdom teeth consists of removing of the gum tissue over the tooth, gently stripping connective tissue away from the tooth and bone, removing the tooth and sewing the gum back up.