Wisdom teeth are the upper and lower third molars located t the back of the mouth. They are the last of the molar teeth, which are the large grinding teeth at the back of each side of the jaw. Wisdom teeth that are healthy and properly arranged do not cause problems but in some cases they cause problems that require the wisdom teeth removal by the dentist.
If the jaw is not large enough to hold all the teeth growing in it, the teeth will not be able to come through the gums as they stuck, most often against the tooth in front so they remain below the jaw line. The teeth that are unable to erupt properly because they are trapped beneath the gum tissue by other teeth are called impacted wisdom teeth. The impacted wisdom teeth may cause pain as they press the other teeth but sometimes one my feel nothing at all for years. Sometimes the impacted tooth may damage the next tooth or the gums around it can get infected and painful with instances of swelling and tenderness.
A wisdom tooth may also erupt only partially if it gets stuck just when it is going through the gum line. In this case food, plague and bacteria may become trapped under the flap of the gum and cause inflammation of the gum known as pericoronitis and infections which may be remedied by the extraction of the tooth.
Wisdom teeth problems can also occur when they do not come in straight. When they erupt crooked and facing the wrong direction they cause irritation on the cheek, tongue and other parts of the mouth. This may cause trouble in cleaning around the wisdom teeth because they are so far in the back of the mouth and the teeth may also be too crowded. Due to this, there is high chance of increased risk of irritation and infection due to dental plague accumulation.
There are a number of symptoms related to wisdom teeth problems and they include:
- Gum disease or decay of the wisdom teeth and those near it.
- Crowding of other teeth.
- An infected swelling in the flap of gum tissue that has formed on top of an impacted tooth that has partially broken through the gum
- Pain or irritation from a tooth coming in at an outward angle and rubbing against the cheek.