As teens approach high school graduation, that’s usually the time wisdom teeth begin to make an appearance. For some, it might be a little later – some people’s teeth don’t emerge until their mid-20s. The fact of the matter is that even if wisdom teeth are not yet visible, they could be causing damage to other teeth or bone that a patient knows nothing about. An early examination is the only way to prevent this damage from occurring.
For most people, there’s simply not enough room in their jaws for their wisdom teeth to line up properly with their other teeth. Statistically speaking, at least one of those teeth is going to run into serious problems, eventually requiring extraction. It will usually be more than one and sometimes will be all four.
Common Problems and Their Symptoms
As wisdom teeth try to make their way into jaws that are simply too small, they very often become firmly wedged in the jawbone at an awkward angle. They may be positioned at an angle that applies pressure on the next tooth in line – the second molar. This is the problem most people are faced with and it’s most common in the lower jaw. When the wisdom tooth is positioned in such a way that it cannot erupt normally, it is said to be impacted.
The wisdom tooth could also be tilted toward the rear of the mouth or it could be lying fully horizontal. In a horizontal position, a wisdom tooth will apply pressure to the root of the second molar, causing decay and gum disease in this molar that would otherwise remain healthy. This damage can occur even if the wisdom tooth is not visible. In an extreme case, the second molar will be lost along with the wisdom tooth if preventative steps are not taken.
It’s even possible for damage to occur without the patient feeling any pain, which is why an early evaluation of one’s wisdom teeth is vital. An impacted wisdom tooth has been referred to as a “ticking time bomb” because you never know what problems it is silently causing until serious symptoms suddenly show up. For this reason, it’s essential to consult a dentist as soon as a person reaches his late teens.
Signs of Impacted Wisdom Teeth
So that you know what you’re looking for, it’s helpful to understand the signs of impacted wisdom teeth. These include:
• Pain when biting or chewing
• Repeated infections at the back of the jaw
• Jaw pain, swelling and tenderness
• Bad breath or a bad taste in the mouth when biting down
• Tender or bleeding gums
• Difficulty fully opening the jaw
Why an Oral Surgeon is Your Best Choice for Wisdom Tooth Extraction
When a normal tooth is extracted, the crown of the tooth (the white, visible part) shows above the gum. It is easy for a dentist to extract that tooth. It is a very different matter with a wisdom tooth that is positioned partially or fully out of sight. Sometimes the tooth is fully embedded in the jawbone and this bone must be opened to get the tooth out. An oral surgeon like Dr. Rostami has the training, experience, staff and fully outfitted surgical facility to perform this extraction expertly.
The more precise the procedure, the less discomfort the patient will feel afterwards and the easier time the body will have as it heals. That is the focus of Capital Oral & Facial Surgery Center. We intend to make you comfortable throughout this procedure and care for you as you heal. We are very proud to get reviews from patients like this one who had all four wisdom teeth extracted on the same day: “Everyone was very friendly and as nervous as I was, they made me feel very comfortable and made the process relatively easy.”
The right time to get an evaluation is before there are symptoms. If you still have wisdom teeth in place, contact us for a free consultation. Call 202-350-2268 today.