Wisdom teeth generally start to erupt between the ages of 17 and 25. But being late to erupt they may find that there is not enough space for them in the jaw. There are several reasons why it happens:
- Overcrowding – the genes that encode for the size of the teeth are different, from those who determine the size of the jaws. Which can lead to a mismatch between their sizes and teeth fighting for room in your jaw.
- In our evolution there is a trend for the size of the jaws to get smaller. As an outcome people have smaller mouths to fit the same amount of teeth, and the third molars end up with not enough room to grow in properly.
- If you had completed orthodontic treatment, sometimes the teeth get pushed back to make room for your front teeth. This treatment decreases the room for wisdom tooth to erupt. That is why many times following an orthodontic treatment there is need to have them removed.
When wisdom teeth get impacted, they may be trapped below your gum line, which can be very painful and lead to abscess formation and infection. Over the long run it can lead to decay and resorption of healthy teeth as well. On top of that the eruption of the wisdom teeth can cause the other teeth to shift and spoil a nice smile.
On occasion, if wisdom teeth are not monitored properly, their growth can result in a horizontal position or they develop lumps. They can also grow backward and eventually interfere with the opening and closing of your jaw.
Not all wisdom teeth need to be removed, for some there is enough room for them and no treatment is required. If your retained wisdom teeth have not been removed, they will require continued monitoring.
Pain in the back of the jaw or swelling may indicate that your wisdom teeth are in need for attention. A simple set of X-rays will determine the extent and direction of growth. Please do not hesitate to contact us for advice about your wisdom teeth. We will be happy to examine and explain how your wisdom teeth are positioned and what options you have.