Awareness About The Dental Problems Wisdom Teeth Can Create

Dentist Blog

The decision to have wisdom teeth removed isn't always a clear-cut choice. These four hind molars in the far back of your mouth can create serious dental problems, especially if they are impacted. Like all surgical procedures, having wisdom teeth removed comes with the risk of complications--but so does keeping them. That's why it helps to know under what conditions wisdom teeth can become a problem.

Impacted Tooth

A tooth that comes only part way through the gums is said to be impacted. Wisdom teeth are the last molars to develop; therefore, there often isn't enough room in the back of the mouth for them to erupt fully. In some cases, they don't come through at all.

Nerve Damage

Since the bottom wisdom teeth grow near the nerve of the lower jaw, an impacted wisdom tooth can cause nerve damage. However, although rare, a possible complication of having a wisdom tooth removed is numbness of the jaw, lips, and tongue. The condition can be temporary or permanent.

Teeth Crowding

An orthodontist may recommend removing wisdom teeth – particularly if you have a small jaw – to prevent teeth crowding and loosening or movement of the adjacent teeth. But while problems with wisdom teeth can cause crowding of other teeth, if these third molars are in the right position, erupt fully, and don't decay, they usually don't cause problems.

Tooth Decay

Because of their position at the very back of the mouth, wisdom teeth can be difficult to reach to clean. This increases the risk of tooth decay and plaque accumulation, which can lead to gum disease.

If wisdom teeth come in crooked or crowd other teeth in the back, you may have trouble cleaning the nearby molars as well. Even a dentist can have a hard time getting to back teeth to clean them or repair a decayed tooth.

Another concern is that, although uncommon, cysts and tumors can form around impacted wisdom teeth. A cyst can damage teeth roots and the bone that holds the teeth in place.


The risk of infection is a key dental concern, especially when conditions are favorable to bacterial growth. A flap of gum tissue that grows over the top of an impacted wisdom tooth can trap food and bacteria. If infection occurs, the gum around the tooth becomes swollen and painful.

Studies conducted by the American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons found that if infection occurs, it can spread from the lower wisdom teeth to the neck, sinuses, or chest. There is also the risk that infection in upper jaw molars can spread to the eye or even the brain. Findings of these long-term studies suggest that young adults between the ages of 20 and 35 are at increased risk of developing chronic inflammation of the gums if they keep their wisdom teeth.

Wisdom Tooth Extraction

Oral surgeons generally recommend that if you make the choice to have wisdom teeth removed, it's best to have it done before the teeth become decayed, infected, or cause other dental problems. The younger you are when you have wisdom teeth removed, the less your risk of experiencing complications. Your gums will heal faster after tooth extractions as well.

Talk to a professional like Dr. Peter L Drob to learn more.


29 March 2016

Fluoride: Why I Drink Tap Water

When the bottled water craze began, I jumped on the bandwagon with everyone else who was drinking water from bottles instead of from the tap. I wasn't sure why bottled water was healthier, but I liked the taste. When I went for my next dental check-up, I had my first cavity in a while, so I had it filled and didn't think much of it. Well, I had two more during my next check-up after that, and I began trying to think of why my teeth were suddenly going bad. The only change in my habits was the switch to bottled water, so I made the switch back to tap water and my teeth began to improve. I created this blog to encourage others who have begun getting cavities suddenly to look into their changes in habits. They may find they made a change similar to mine.