Wisdom teeth are known as “third molars,” and generally develop in a person between the ages of 17 and 25, although approximately 25% to 35% of the population never develops wisdom teeth. For those that do develop them, there are all sorts of possibilities and complications that can arise. Generally, individuals develop four of them, one in each corner of the mouth. If the four “third molars” grow in regularly alongside the other teeth, they can provide a healthy asset to the mouth. More often than not, however, wisdom teeth need to be extracted because of problems and complications.Have a look at Signs And Symptoms Of Impending Wisdom Teeth for more info on this.
Impaction of the Wisdom Teeth
The term “impaction” is used when discussing teeth in general that has failed to emerge into its expected position. The majority of wisdom teeth fall into this category, primarily because there isn’t enough room in your jaw to accommodate the teeth. There are a few different types of impaction that dentists regularly see, and they all come with their own unique set of problems for the person living with them.
Impaction can either be mesial, vertical or horizontal, or distal. A horizontal impaction occurs when the wisdom tooth grows in sideways, approximately ninety degrees in direction from the rest of the teeth. With a horizontal impaction, the wisdom tooth grows towards the rest of the teeth. A distal impaction occurs when the tooth grows in at approximately a forty-five degree angle, opposite the direction of the other teeth. Mesial impaction is the opposite of distal where the tooth is growing in towards the others. Finally, vertical impaction occurs when the tooth is growing upright.
The other major distinction of this type of impaction is whether it’s a “bony” impaction or “soft tissue” impaction. A soft tissue impaction is the term that indicates the tooth has penetrated the bone but not the gums. A bony impaction, on the other hand, is a term that describes teeth if they are still encased in the jaw’s bone.
Should You Remove Wisdom Teeth?
Aside from impaction, there are several other problems that can result if these teeth are left in your mouth. Even though the age-old justification for the removal of wisdom teeth is the misalignment or shifting of other teeth in your mouth if wisdom teeth are left to grow, some of these justifications are debatable and up for interpretation. It’s certainly the case that not everyone’s wisdom teeth need to be extracted. Indeed, they do not cause problems just by the very nature of developing.
However, there are some very real justifications for getting wisdom teeth removed if you are prompted so by your dentist. For example, pericoronitis is a condition in which an infection occurs in the tissues that surround the crown of a partially erupted wisdom tooth. Infection occurs primarily because of the presence of bacteria, which builds up because it’s nearly impossible to clean since the tooth is only partially erupted through the gums.