Wisdom teeth can sometimes grow in without causing any oral health problems, and in these cases, they do not require removal. Unfortunately, most people’s wisdom teeth do not grow in normally; sometimes the teeth grow in sideways, become trapped under the gums, damage adjacent teeth, or overcrowd the rest of the teeth and cause dental shifting. In many cases, the jaw is not large enough to accommodate four extra molars, and wisdom teeth are some of the largest teeth we have.
Below are descriptions of a few of the complications wisdom teeth can cause when they do not grow in properly:
- Damage to the second molars. Wisdom teeth have a tendency to grow in sideways. In fact, even wisdom teeth that appear to be growing in properly can suddenly turn toward the other molars. If the wisdom teeth continue to grow in diagonally or directly toward your healthy teeth, they can cause serious damage to the roots of your healthy molars.
- Infections. Sometimes wisdom teeth only partially erupt from the gums, creating a space for harmful bacteria to hide beneath the gum tissue. The impacted tooth can become infected, which causes discomfort and serious oral health complications if not treated immediately.
- Cysts and growths. Sometimes wisdom teeth infections become so severe that they form cysts or even tumors in the area around the tooth. These growths can damage the bone around the tooth.
- Shifting and crowding of healthy teeth. If there is not adequate space for your teeth to grow in, your other teeth may shift and become crowded together, which can cause bite problems and crooked teeth (even in patients who have already had braces).
Extracting wisdom teeth before they are fully developed is the best way to avoid these oral health problems before they start to cause damage, pain, and discomfort. Your wisdom teeth can be evaluated before they ever grow in to determine whether or not they require removal, but even fully erupted wisdom teeth can be extracted safely by an experienced oral surgeon.
Wisdom Teeth Extractions at Siouxland Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery
Both Dr. Denis Miller and Dr. Louis George at Siouxland Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery have years of experience evaluating wisdom teeth. We have four convenient locations where you can receive a full wisdom teeth consultation, including scans using advanced 3D scanning technology if necessary. Drs. Miller and George can extract wisdom teeth at any stage of development whether they are still beneath the gums or fully grown in. To learn more about the best time to extract wisdom teeth, click here.