Wisdom teeth are the third and final set of molars to come through. They are known as ‘Wisdom Teeth’ because they appear in either the late teens or early twenties of a person’s life and are supposed to signal that the person has reached ‘wisdom.’ However, if wisdom teeth are not positioned correctly, problems can follow.
So what are the potential problems with wisdom teeth?
One of the problems is that because although the human mouth can hold 32 teeth in total, a lot of people’s mouths have room only for 28. This means that when the four wisdom teeth come in as the third molars, there isn’t enough space for them to grow properly and they can impact or only partially erupt. Impaction is when the wisdom teeth have failed to break through the gum line because of misalignment caused by lack of room to develop. Partial eruption is when the tooth fails to break through the gum bed completely and leaves a soft flap of flesh which is known as an operculum.
Wisdom teeth don’t always cause problems and won’t in the case that there’s enough room for them to come through, but some of the problems that can occur as wisdom teeth come through are:
- Decay due to the teeth being inaccessible to clean – this can easily spread to adjacent teeth if not careful.
- Structural damage to the entire mouth as a result of overcrowding.
- Perhaps most dangerous however is the possibility of cysts forming. This occurs when a wisdom tooth has been impacted and the surrounding tooth has filled with fluid. Cysts can eventually become tumours if left untreated and can permanently damage the jawbone and nerves.
It goes without saying, if you experience any wisdom tooth pain symptoms you should see a dentist immediately to avoid these potential problems. If you have any worries about wisdom teeth contact our team today at Devonshire Square Dental Clinic in London.