A wisdom tooth, also known as third molars, is the last set of teeth that emerge in the mouth.

In most cases, they typically erupt between the ages of 17 and 25, and, as such, they can cause a lot of issues. While some individuals have no trouble with an erupting wisdom tooth, others experience a range of problems due to their eruption. These issues can vary from mild discomfort to severe complications, necessitating their removal.

In this article, the various problems that wisdom teeth can cause will be delved into, shedding light on the importance of understanding their potential impact on oral health will also be looked at. So, read on to learn more about them!

Impacted wisdom tooth

X-ray of a human skull with a red spot

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One of the most common issues associated with wisdom teeth Gordon is potential impaction. When there is insufficient space in the jaw, these teeth may fail to emerge fully or at the correct angle, becoming impacted. So on an X-ray an impacted wisdom tooth can appear to be at a slight angle, or any more unfortunate cases may almost appear vertical and crash into the root of a nearby molar.

An impacted wisdom tooth can cause immense discomfort, swelling, and discomfort. They may also lead to infections, gum disease, and even the shifting of adjacent teeth. In severe cases, cysts or tumours can develop around impacted teeth, posing a risk to the overall oral health of an individual. Regular dental check-ups and X-rays can help identify potential impaction early on, allowing for appropriate treatment.

In most cases, if you have an impacted wisdom tooth, your dentist will opt to remove them, which can be an extensive surgical procedure with aftercare that will require you to attend multiple dental check-ups.

Dental crowding

Another problem linked to a wisdom tooth is dental crowding. The eruption of these additional molars can exert pressure on the existing teeth, leading to misalignment and overcrowding. This can adversely affect the overall dental arch and the bite, resulting in discomfort while chewing and speaking. Orthodontic treatments such as braces may be required to correct the misalignment caused by a wisdom tooth. By addressing dental crowding promptly, individuals can mitigate the risk of more complex dental issues in the future.

Tooth decay and gum disease

A wisdom tooth can also be notoriously difficult to clean due to its location at the back of the mouth. As a result, they are more susceptible to decay and gum disease. The partially erupted nature of a wisdom tooth creates pockets where bacteria and food particles can accumulate, leading to the development of cavities and gum infections. Additionally, the presence of a wisdom tooth can make regular brushing and flossing challenging, further increasing the risk of oral health problems. Timely removal of a problematic wisdom tooth or teeth can help maintain optimal oral hygiene and reduce the likelihood of decay and gum disease.

Sinus problems

In some instances, the roots of an upper wisdom tooth can extend into the sinus cavity, resulting in sinus-related complications. This can lead to symptoms such as pressure, pain, congestion, and recurrent sinus infections. These issues require appropriate diagnosis and treatment, which may involve the extraction of the problematic wisdom tooth.

Complications from wisdom tooth removal

Most wisdom tooth removals are surgical solely because most of these teeth are not fully erupted when your dental team tries to remove them. So, some incisions and stitching may be required if the roots of the wisdom tooth are long or twisted.

In a standard wisdom tooth removal, however, most dental teams will opt to leave the socket open and allow a blood clot to form, which should happen within about 24 hours of the extraction. However, as wisdom tooth extractions usually expose a larger socket, a potential complication is known as a dry socket. This is where somebody will unintentionally remove that all-important blood clot from the surface of the socket, thereby exposing the jawbone underneath. This is extremely uncomfortable and should prompt an emergency visit to your dentist to have the gum tissue stitched.

Another potential complication from a wisdom tooth removal is infection.

As the socket is deeper and may harbour some of the residual debris from the wisdom tooth, your dental team should obviously clean the socket profusely post-removal to prevent an infection. But if you have been susceptible to dental infections in the past via extraction, then it may be worth undertaking a course of prophylactic antibiotics to prevent a recurrence. Or, your dental team may be able to prescribe you a prescription mouthwash, which will kill the bacteria.