The last set of teeth in the permanent group to erupt are the wisdom teeth. It is common for many people to have two wisdom teeth on each jaw, making a total of four. However, sometimes wisdom teeth can remain hidden beneath the gums due to the limited space in the mouth. When they do erupt, they can come in at different angles, causing discomfort and overcrowding in the mouth.

The extraction of wisdom teeth may be necessary due to various issues that arise from their improper eruption. To make the best decision for your oral health, it is advisable to consult with your dentist before opting for wisdom tooth extraction. Here are some indicators that may suggest the need for extraction.

Difficulty Keeping Your Mouth Clean, Resulting in Bad Breath

Crowding of the teeth is one of the many difficulties associated with wisdom teeth. Additionally, they can grow unevenly or at different angles, making it challenging to maintain good dental hygiene. This can lead to halitosis, a condition characterized by foul breath. Having bad breath can be embarrassing and detrimental to your self-esteem.

The etiology of bad breath can impact individuals differently, with some people being self-conscious about even a slight odor, while others may be unaware of underlying health issues. Poor dental hygiene is one of the reasons for foul breath, as irregular tooth brushing and flossing can lead to the buildup of bacteria. Additionally, wisdom teeth can erupt in various directions, including forward, backward, or sideways.

Additionally, incomplete eruption of wisdom teeth can create gum pockets that can harbor germs and food particles, resulting in halitosis. If you experience persistent bad breath and have difficulty brushing your teeth properly, it may be necessary to have your wisdom teeth extracted after they have fully erupted.

Tumors or Cysts Surrounding Impacted Teeth

Rare growths on the jawbone or soft tissues of the mouth are referred to as jaw cysts and tumors. These tumors and cysts can vary in size and severity. A cyst is a fluid-filled lesion that can develop in the tissues during the eruption of adult teeth. In some cases, wisdom teeth may only partially erupt or remain below the gum line, leading to the formation of a cyst on the surrounding gum tissue. Dentigerous cysts, although not cancerous, can lead to complications such as gum infections.

Larger cysts can cause discomfort, swelling, and tooth displacement, while smaller cysts may not exhibit any symptoms. Even tiny and invisible cysts can lead to jaw fractures and tooth loss. If you have tumors and experience expenses related to them, it may be an indication that you need to have your wisdom teeth removed.

Teeth Crowding That Results in Discomfort

Tooth crowding occurs when your teeth do not fit comfortably in your jaw. This can happen when there is insufficient space for the teeth to erupt or if your teeth are excessively large while your jaw is too narrow. Dental congestion, besides being painful, is a significant contributor to misaligned teeth. The alignment of your teeth plays a crucial role in both your confidence and your overall oral health. Misaligned teeth often affect your smile, which can make you feel less confident.

The eruption of wisdom teeth is one of several reasons that can cause crowded teeth. Wisdom teeth are the final molars to come in. Due to their larger size, they can exert pressure on other teeth, leading to a crowded appearance in the mouth. The symptoms of crowded teeth can vary from patient to patient, and their severity may depend on the individual case.

Cavities Caused By a Distorted Tooth Angle

Cavities develop as small openings within the tooth. They are primarily caused by bacteria in the mouth, leading to tooth decay. If left untreated, cavities can damage the deeper layers of your teeth. Cavities are a common dental issue.

Wisdom teeth are more susceptible to infection and cavities due to their ability to develop at various angles, resulting in uneven surfaces that can trap food particles.

If cavities are not treated promptly, they can potentially cause tooth loss and damage to the gums and roots. Wisdom teeth often contribute to tooth crowding, which makes it challenging to clean overcrowded teeth and allows food particles to accumulate quickly. Infected wisdom teeth can also lead to cavities in neighboring teeth.

Having tooth decay or cavities in your wisdom teeth can be an indication that you need to make an appointment to have them extracted. By doing so, you can safeguard the integrity and health of your other teeth.

Periodontal Disease Associated with Bone Loss

Periodontitis, a serious gum condition, is caused by the buildup of bacteria on the gums and teeth. If left untreated, it can lead to damage to the jawbone and the supporting structures of the teeth.

Gum inflammation is the initial indication of periodontal disease, which is caused by the accumulation of food particles and bacteria around the gums and teeth. Regularly removing leftover food is crucial to prevent such buildup. Gum pockets are formed when wisdom teeth emerge, providing a breeding ground for bacteria and food debris. Furthermore, an excessive number of wisdom teeth can pose challenges in maintaining oral hygiene.

In the early stages of the disease, pockets may form where the gums used to be, and brushing or flossing can cause pain or bleeding. As periodontal disease worsens, your teeth may become unstable, and the supporting bones may be damaged. The tissues and bones surrounding your teeth will degrade over time, eventually leading to tooth loss in the later stages of periodontitis.

Severe periodontal disease can have significant consequences for both your oral health and overall well-being. If you are experiencing symptoms of periodontitis near your wisdom teeth, it may be necessary to have them extracted. Keeping your wisdom teeth in your mouth could potentially cause more harm than good. Speaking with a dentist will provide you with professional advice and guidance regarding your troublesome wisdom teeth.

Pericoronitis or Infection of Partially Erupted Teeth

Pericoronitis is the term used to describe the inflammation of gum tissue surrounding a tooth crown. This type of infection is commonly observed in the wisdom teeth of the lower jaw when the gum tissues extend over the chewing surface. Although pericoronitis can also present with mild inflammation, acute infection is typically characterized by gum swelling, discomfort, and infection. Unlike periodontitis and gingivitis, pericoronitis is characterized by an infection that is limited to the affected tooth.

When wisdom teeth partially erupt, the gums will cover the tooth, but since it remains partially exposed, bacteria and leftover food particles can become trapped between the gum line and the tooth. The presence of abscesses under the gums indicates a gum infection, which, if left untreated, can spread to other areas of the tooth. It is important to seek treatment to prevent further complications.

Pericoronitis usually affects individuals in their mid-twenties when their wisdom teeth start to erupt. Here are some signs that indicate an infection in partially erupted wisdom teeth:

  • Foul breath. This often occurs when food particles and bacteria linger in the gum tissue for an extended period
  • Tissues and gums are red. Frequent causes of gum inflammation and redness are infections, as bacteria can destroy the cells in the affected area.
  • Pus with a bad flavor. Neglecting pericoronitis can lead to gum injuries that cause pus to leak into your mouth.
  • Enlarged lymph nodes. One common sign of infected wisdom teeth is swelling of the glands. Swollen lymph nodes can be extremely painful and uncomfortable.

Pericoronitis may indicate the need for wisdom tooth extraction if you have it. To prevent serious harm to your healthy teeth, you need to extract the teeth as soon as they erupt.

Gums that are Bleeding and Swollen

When your wisdom teeth erupt, they may push against nearby teeth, causing them to shift in the process. Additionally, the tooth may grind against the jaw, resulting in a painful and stiff sensation. Excessive pressure applied to the teeth and gums can cause swelling and bleeding in the gums on the side of the jaw and back of the mouth.

The flap of gum tissue next to the mouth, which is caused by the partial eruption of the wisdom teeth, can lead to swelling and redness of the gums. Swelling and bleeding of the gums may indicate that the wisdom teeth are causing trouble and should be extracted.

Wisdom Teeth That Have Been Impacted

There may not be sufficient space for wisdom teeth to emerge if your jaws are small or if your teeth are too large. This can result in impacted teeth. The extent of damage to the wisdom teeth cannot be determined without an X-ray taken by a dentist. Impacted wisdom teeth are unable to grow properly. When teeth only partially or fully break through the gums, they are referred to as impacted.

Impacted teeth have the potential to cause serious harm to the gums and surrounding teeth, although most people do not experience any issues with them. Therefore, it is advisable to consider extracting any affected teeth. Impacted teeth can lead to the development of various conditions, including:

  • Vertical settling. When a tooth is vertically impacted, it can cause serious harm to the roots of adjacent teeth as it fails to break through the gum line
  • A mesioangular impaction. Wisdom teeth can also erupt at the front of the mouth, which may cause discomfort and alter the appearance of the teeth
  • Impaction at the disentangle. You may experience this type of dental impaction when the wisdom teeth erupt at the rear of the mouth
  • Impaction in a horizontal plane. The tooth develops into the roots of neighboring molars and is inclined sideways at a 90-degree angle. As a result, the nearby teeth may sustain damage. Extracting the affected wisdom teeth will help preserve the health of your molars

Researchers have found that at least one-third of people do not develop wisdom teeth. This is because their biting and chewing functions are no longer necessary.

Jaw Pain and Damage

When your wisdom teeth start to emerge, they can potentially compromise the structural stability of your jaw. The pressure exerted by these teeth on the existing ones can lead to pain and difficulty in opening your mouth, as there may not be enough space for them to properly grow.

Furthermore, the sensation of teeth pushing through the gums can be uncomfortable and may even cause jaw pain. To alleviate this discomfort before getting your wisdom teeth extracted, you can try a combination of over-the-counter and homemade remedies:

  • Ice pack. When wisdom teeth are coming in or are infected, applying an ice compress to your gums can help minimize pain and reduce inflammation
  • Numbing cream. When your wisdom teeth erupt, you can reduce discomfort and gum sensitivity by using a numbing dental gel. These gels can be applied directly to the affected area. However, it's important to note that numbing gels provide temporary relief, and eventually, you will need to have your teeth removed
  • Rinse with saltwater. Gum infections can occur when wisdom teeth grow incorrectly. The presence of bacteria on the injured gums can cause excruciating pain. While scheduling an appointment for wisdom teeth extraction, you can alleviate the pain by rinsing your mouth with salty water, as salt acts as a natural antiseptic

Sinus Issues

Your face and skull contain empty air pockets called sinuses, which play a crucial role in comfortable breathing. These sinuses are located behind the nose, in the forehead, and inside the cheekbones. Inflammation of these air spaces can lead to sinus infections, causing discomfort and difficulty breathing.

The condition of your teeth greatly affects your overall health. One way in which sinus infections and wisdom teeth are connected is through the influence of dental health on general well-being. The roots of wisdom teeth that emerge from the upper jaw are located near the sinuses. If teeth erupt in the wrong direction, their roots may exert pressure on the sinuses, causing obstruction.

The eruption of wisdom teeth can often be the cause of headaches, sinus discomfort, and nasal congestion. Dentists commonly remove wisdom teeth as a treatment for sinus infections. This procedure helps to relieve pressure in the sinuses, allowing for easier breathing and effectively treating sinus disorders. Additionally, it can alleviate headache tension and discomfort.

Your dentist will examine you, possibly using X-rays, to determine if the cause of the sinus infection is the wisdom teeth.

Find an Encino Dental Facility Near Me

It is crucial to consult with a qualified dentist if you are experiencing problems with your wisdom teeth and considering extraction. At Lasting Impressions Dental Spa, we offer wisdom tooth extraction services and dental care advice to help you avoid any potential complications. Our team of experienced general dentists and dental assistants will closely monitor your progress to ensure a smooth and comfortable recovery. We serve patients in Encino, CA, and strive to deliver the desired results for all their dental treatments. Give us a call at 818-751-5100.