Wisdom teeth are an evolutionary throwback and, while they grow through in many people without issues, they can cause various problems for others that might warrant their removal. Of these problems, one of the most common is impaction.
Impacted wisdom teeth occur when there isn't enough room in the jaw for them to grow as they should. This leads to them causing problems for neighbouring teeth, irritating the gums, or not coming through properly. Here are some of the problems that can arise because of impacted wisdom teeth.
For a number of reasons, wisdom teeth are at a higher risk of decay, particularly if they're impacted. Often, this is simply because they're difficult to reach in order to clean them thoroughly enough to remove all the plaque that builds up on them. If they're impacted, the situation is made worse by the fact that they might have surfaces that are obscured behind other teeth, making them impossible to brush.
If decay is left to progress, it can lead to cavities and problems with the teeth next to the decaying one. Early signs of dental decay are an unpleasant taste in the mouth accompanied by bad breath and unusual sensitivity.
When decay is more advanced, you might experience toothache, which can be either constant or intermittent.
Dental infections are caused by bacteria and are often a result of untreated decay. Signs you may have an infection are severe pain and swelling in the area of the mouth, which might spread to the jaw and other surrounding areas.
An untreated infection can be the eventual cause of an abscess. This is when pus builds up on the site of the infection, making the symptoms above more severe.
Occasionally, infections and abscesses don't cause any pain, which makes it extremely important to have regular dental checks, especially after wisdom teeth have started to appear.
Gum disease and gingivitis
If your gums bleed when brushing, you may have gum disease or its more serious form gingivitis. The plaque and tartar that build up on teeth can also irritate and injure the gums, which leads to these conditions. Because of the increased difficulty brushing impacted wisdom teeth, the gums in this part of the mouth are at a higher risk of gum disease occurring.
In addition to bleeding, symptoms of gum disease are bad breath that lingers after brushing, painful gums and visibly receding gums.
To learn more about wisdom teeth and possibly having yours removed, contact a dentist that offers wisdom teeth services.