Wisdom Teeth, Hamilton MT
Wisdom teeth, or third molars, are the last permanent teeth to form and move into the mouth. Wisdom teeth will usually emerge at around 16 to 18 years of age and be fully developed by the age of 22 or 23. This was assumed to be the “age of wisdom,” which is where the term wisdom teeth originated.
There are usually four wisdom teeth, one in each rear corner of the mouth. If the jaw bone is long enough, the wisdom teeth may grow normally with no resultant problems.
If the jawbone is not long enough, the wisdom teeth will not have enough room to erupt and will become trapped inside the jawbone. In this case, the wisdom teeth have become lodged, or “impacted.”
Problems caused by impacted wisdom teeth
Naturally occurring bacteria in the mouth can work their way down to the impacted wisdom teeth, frequently causing infection in the surrounding gums and bone. Repeated soreness around the wisdom teeth is often mistaken as an effort of the wisdom teeth to erupt. This soreness, however, could be a sign of infection. Surrounding bone, tooth roots and adjacent teeth may be harmed if the impacted tooth is left untreated.
The constant pressure from impacted wisdom teeth can also damage adjacent teeth. You may not feel anything until significant damage has occurred. Pressure from wisdom teeth may also push other teeth out of line, possibly creating a need for orthodontic treatment. Cysts can also develop around impacted wisdom teeth.
Even if you have no symptoms now, future problems may develop if impacted wisdom teeth are not evaluated and treated in the appropriate manner.
Advantages to early removal of wisdom teeth
Removing impacted wisdom teeth early is usually a less involved procedure than waiting until complications and pain develop. It may be best to remove the teeth before the roots are fully formed. As you age, the roots will thicken and become more firmly anchored to the jawbone. If you wait until your wisdom teeth cause you trouble, risks and chances of complications are higher, and recovery may not proceed as smoothly as when they are removed electively.
Call us at 406-375-1192 for a consultation.