Here at our Center City orthodontics center, it’s very common to see patients with problems caused by wisdom teeth. In fact, the majority of people do not possess jaw bones big enough to comfortably fit all 32 permanent teeth.
Tooth Impaction and Infection
Because wisdom teeth are the last teeth to develop, they are often blocked or crowded out of their proper eruption position by the overlying gums or bone, causing them to become impacted.
When the wisdom teeth begin to erupt, typically in one’s late teens or early 20s, they can cause a recurrent cycle of infection of the gums, causing pain around the tooth that sometimes spreads to the neck or side of the face.
Other Possible Complications
When left in place, impacted wisdom teeth can cause other problems, such as chronic infections that can damage adjacent teeth and severe recession of the gums and bone.
If a wisdom tooth erupts without an opposing tooth, it can cause accidental cheek biting or may even hyper-erupt, disrupting the occlusion or bite of the other teeth. More serious problems can occur if the tissue surrounding an impacted tooth enlarges into a cyst or tumor.
Wisdom teeth can also lead to crowding of the lower incisor teeth during one’s late teens and early 20s and may require orthodontic retreatment if left long enough.
What If My Wisdom Teeth Do Erupt?
Scientific studies show that wisdom teeth that do erupt are just as prone to disease as impacted wisdom teeth. It’s challenging to maintain good oral hygiene in the far reaches of the mouth, and wisdom teeth are often the first casualties to the bacteria that cause decay or gum infection. If they were not taken during one’s teen years, a higher proportion of wisdom teeth will eventually need to be removed later on.
Are you interested in learning more about what the best orthodontist in Philadelphia can do for you and your teeth? If so, don’t hesitate to give our team a call today at 215-315-7691.