All about Wisdom Teeth

For many who are well into adulthood, having wisdom teeth removed during adolescence was considered fairly normal. Though the removal of wisdom teeth while young is a somewhat common practice, few know why that is, or what the consequences are of waiting to have them removed.
Wisdom teeth are located in the very back of the mouth; they are the last four teeth to break through the gums. Their development and arrival can begin anytime during the teenage years, and by your mid-20s, they will either fully erupt or become impacted if they are not removed.
Wisdom teeth become impacted when they are blocked by nearby teeth and don’t have enough room to fully emerge. If left to grow, they can damage adjacent teeth and result in severe pain and inflammation in the mouth and jaw area. There are two main types of impacted wisdom teeth: partially impacted (some of the tooth is visible) and fully impacted (the entire tooth is below the gum line). In either case, an impacted wisdom tooth must be dealt with as soon as possible.
Oftentimes, impacted wisdom teeth show no symptoms; however, when they do, symptoms vary and can either be mild or severe. Sometimes symptoms are due to the impacted tooth; other times the bacteria in the mouth get under the gum tissue and cause an infection. This can occur even when the tooth is not visible. The most common signs are headaches, difficulty opening your mouth, tender, swollen, or bleeding gums, Swelling in the jaw, and Pain when chewing.
More often than not, patients are advised to have their wisdom teeth removed before the teeth become impacted. Removing the tooth before the roots are fully formed makes an extraction easier and the healing process faster. If they do become impacted, a simple surgery can be performed to remove them.
If you or your child experience any symptoms associated with impacted wisdom teeth, a dentist is the best professional to help you determine the cause and what to do next. If you have any questions, please call us at 630-271-9999. We look forward to keeping your smile healthy through all of its ages and stages.

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