The emergence of wisdom teeth often symbolizes a coming of age for many people. Sometimes referred to as the third molars, wisdom teeth are the final teeth to emerge from beneath the surface of the gums and usually become visible between the ages of 17 and 21. Wisdom teeth may never cause problems, but minor or major complications can occur in some cases when these teeth emerge or while they're still beneath the gums. If you experience any of these problems with your wisdom teeth, your dentist will likely recommend wisdom teeth removal surgery to offer you relief.
If wisdom teeth don't have enough room to emerge or are located in an unusual area where normal tooth growth isn't possible, the wisdom teeth can become impacted and essentially get stuck in place. A wisdom tooth that's growing perpendicularly to another tooth will likely become impacted and could also damage the neighboring tooth. Wisdom tooth impaction can also occur if the tooth gets trapped within the jawbone for another reason. To avoid further problems that impacted wisdom teeth can cause, dentists usually recommend extracting the molars with standard wisdom teeth removal surgery.
The emergence of wisdom teeth may be accompanied by temporary pain, but extractions of these teeth are often performed if the pain continues and becomes a chronic problem. Chronic pain often results from impacted wisdom teeth that haven't been removed. There could be other problems with the teeth that cause ongoing pain, and wisdom teeth removal may be the only way to alleviate the discomfort.
Even wisdom teeth can develop cavities, or tooth decay may occur in a broken wisdom tooth that lets in bacteria that can harm the molar. Wisdom teeth are often even more susceptible to decay because they aren't always as easy to reach with a toothbrush while brushing. If the decay in a wisdom tooth is severe, the root canal can become infected, and getting the tooth pulled can save you from having to get root canal treatment and can offer you a long-term solution.
The Growth of Cysts
Fluid-filled sacs known as dentigerous cysts can form around wisdom teeth that have yet to emerge. Even though these cysts usually grow slowly, they can still damage teeth and the jawbone and shift teeth out of place if the sacs grow large enough. Wisdom teeth removal surgery is often used in conjunction with removing these cysts and can prevent them from regrowing.
You may be among the fortunate people who never experience problems with their wisdom teeth, but you shouldn't ignore any concerning signs with these molars that could worsen if they aren't addressed. If your wisdom teeth are giving you trouble, a dentist can recommend a treatment plan that may include wisdom teeth removal surgery.