Most people will eventually need to have their wisdom teeth removed. It may only be a matter of time before you need your teeth extracted, but how can you know when to wave goodbye to those bothersome teeth? A dentist will often identify when you need them pulled based on x-rays to determine whether they may cause difficulties or are in danger of decay. But first, you need to be aware of the warning symptoms of a problematic wisdom tooth to recognize the problem as soon as possible. Here are some of the most common warning signs that it’s time to see your dentist in Calgary and have them removed.
What are wisdom teeth?
Your wisdom teeth, also known as third molars, are the teeth at the back of your mouth. Most adults have 32 teeth, including four wisdom teeth, one in each corner of the mouth. Wisdom teeth are the last adult teeth to emerge, if at all. Wisdom teeth that have become impacted can cause pain, damage to other teeth, and other dental issues, such as overcrowding of existing teeth and impaction, either into neighbouring teeth or the gum. However, not all wisdom teeth create difficulties right once, and even if they are impacted, they may not be painful.
What are the symptoms and signs?
When your wisdom teeth erupt, you will most likely experience some discomfort. There are several reasons why you might need your wisdom teeth removed. Here are some of the signs and symptoms you may encounter until the tooth is taken that can be problematic:
- Infection and persistent pain – Pain and irritation at the tooth site and when you open your mouth are two of the most obvious symptoms that you need your wisdom teeth removed. Wisdom teeth normally erupt between 17 and 21, making them the last teeth to appear and hence the most likely to get wedged in or impacted. Because there is insufficient space in the jaw or mouth for them to emerge straight, they may come in sideways, slanted or misaligned in the jaw, pressing up against the teeth in front of it.
- Jaw stiffness and swollen gums – As your wisdom teeth emerge, they may push against and move your other teeth. This might make your jaw uncomfortable, rigid, sore, and difficult to open. Swelling the gums in the back of the mouth or on the side of the jaw can also occur.
- Cavities and cysts – If wisdom teeth are overlooked, they can lead to cysts and other benign (harmless) jaw tumours and fluid-filled sacs that can infect the surrounding area. As a result, the roots of your surrounding teeth will be damaged. This can result in bone destruction, however, this is uncommon. Impacted teeth can also cause cavities and dental decay. If they press on a neighbouring molar, tooth displacement might occur, leaving gaps and crevices between our teeth that are difficult to clean while brushing. As a result, they can accumulate food and germs, leading to dental cavities.
- Eating difficulties & sinus issues – If you have sinus pain, congestion, or pressure, especially in the upper jaw area, your wisdom teeth may be coming through. The teeth’ development and roots might push against the sinuses just above them.
If you’re experiencing any of these signs and symptoms, your wisdom tooth may be impacted, you should see your Calgary dentist at Smile 32 Dentistry. They will inspect the area and, if necessary, take x-rays to determine where your wisdom teeth are located and whether or not they are impacted. If the wisdom teeth are causing you problems, you may need to have them pulled.