Wisdom teeth are the third and final set of molars that erupt in the back corners of the upper and lower normal adult mouth. Unfortunately, most people experience problems from wisdom teeth; in most cases, these problems occur later in life when they are much more difficult to remove, and it is much harder for you to recover. For this reason, it is strongly recommended that wisdom teeth be removed early.
Problems which occur most commonly:
- Damage to the teeth in front of them either because of a cavity which can cause loss of the other tooth
- Damage to the teeth in front of them either because of pocket formed where bacteria can cause bone loss which can cause loss of the other tooth
- A partially erupted (half under gum, half in mouth) tooth which collects bacteria under the gums and causes serious infection. The one pictured below is one of the few true dental emergencies. It is almost always caused by wisdom teeth, requires hospitalization, usually intubation so you can breath, and is life-threatening.
- A partially erupted wisdom tooth where the piece of tissue covering it is bitten often and becomes painful and inflamed; this can lead to infection
- Growth into the nerve causing numb sensation which does not go away
- Cyst formation
- Cavity on the wisdom tooth, usually because it I difficult if not impossible to clean, which leads to pain and infection