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Impacted Wisdom Teeth

Usually the last teeth to grow, wisdom teeth are also known as “third molars” and most often appear between the late teens and early twenties. Some people develop none, others can grow up to 4. When they don’t have enough room to develop and grow out normally, they are known as impacted. They don’t always cause symptoms on their own, but they do have a risk of damaging other teeth, becoming infected, and causing other dental issues.

A wisdom tooth becomes impacted, or trapped, when the jaw doesn’t have enough space to erupt cleanly through the gum. They can be partially impacted, which means they’ve only partially emerged, or they can be fully impacted, which means they never grow through the gum. They can become a problem when they have grown in angle to the next tooth, towards the back of the mouth, at right angles, or stay trapped in the jawbone..

Impacted wisdom teeth should be checked for on a regular basis through routine dental treatments, which may include a full mouth x-ray or OPG. A wisdom tooth may not warrant any action if it’s not impacted. However, if it is impacted and a risk factor, a wisdom tooth extraction may be a recommended course of action.

If you don’t arrange wisdom teeth removal when it’s needed, it can cause a host of problems. It can grow into other teeth, damaging them, cause infected cysts, lead to further decay, and cause gum disease.

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