Wisdom teeth are called “wisdom” teeth because they come into our lives (and our jaws) around a time in life when our minds are suddenly swirling with new ideas about ourselves and the world around us. So it only makes sense for the teeth to (somewhat jokingly) commemorate this opinionated and questioning time of adolescence.
With that in mind, one of the frequent questions that patients in our Garden Grove dental practice ask about wisdom teeth is a rather good question. That question is: “Is it bad if my wisdom teeth do come in?”
And really – the answer depends.
It’s not always necessary to get your wisdom teeth removed under a few different conditions. If they are correctly positioned in your mouth, don’t cause pain, and don’t conflict with other teeth – then they shouldn’t pose a problem. On the other hand, if they are “impacted” or can possibly contribute to crowding with other teeth – there’s a good chance your dentist will recommend removing them.
So, what does it mean when a wisdom tooth is impacted?
An impacted wisdom tooth is a wisdom tooth that hasn’t fully erupted into your mouth. Many times, this can happen because of a blockage being caused by other teeth. The most likely reason wisdom teeth become impacted is due to a discrepancy between the available space in the jaw and the space required by your teeth. Typically, impacted wisdom teeth are categorized by noting the direction they’re impacted in, how deep they are compared to the actual “Cutting” or biting surface of other teeth, and what percentage of the crown actually shows through the bone or gum tissue.
What are the symptoms of impacted wisdom teeth?
It’s only bad to not get your wisdom teeth removed if you need to get your wisdom teeth removed – which is to say: if they’re going to cause problems.
Even impacted wisdom teeth don’t always cause symptoms. But if they encroach on another tooth or become infected – you might start to notice the following:
- Swelling in and around the jaw
- Trouble opening your mouth
- Red and swollen gums
- Pain around the jaw
- Bad breath
- A bade taste in your mouth
Do you live near Anaheim or Garden Grove? If you have questions about your wisdom teeth, our dentists can help. Contact us today to learn more about why you do (or don’t) need your wisdom teeth removed.