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Wisdom Teeth Removal

Illustration of an impacted wisdom toothThe wisdom teeth, or your third molars, are the last of your adult teeth to come in. Where most of the adult teeth are in by around the age of 13, the wisdom teeth do not begin to erupt until your late teens to early 20s. This is actually how they got their name. The last to erupt, the wisdom teeth are the most likely to become impacted. Impacted wisdom teeth can cause serious issues and often need to be extracted. M Street Dental can help.

How Do Wisdom Teeth Become Impacted?

An impacted tooth is one that cannot properly erupt through the gums. Your wisdom teeth can become impacted for many reasons. Some of the most common causes of impacted wisdom teeth include:
•  Not enough space in the jaw to accommodate all of your teeth.
•  You have bone or soft tissue blocking the path of the tooth, preventing it from erupting properly, or at all.
•  The wisdom teeth are growing at an angle, rather than up through the gums. They may even be growing sideways.

Effects of Impacted Wisdom Teeth

When the wisdom teeth are impacted, many issues can develop. Issues caused by impacted wisdom teeth include:
•  Overcrowding. If there is insufficient space in your jaw, the wisdom teeth can force adjacent teeth out of alignment as they attempt to erupt. This continues to put pressure on your other teeth, creating a domino effect. Your teeth become crooked and your smile overcrowded. This alters your bite and can cause serious issues such as an increased risk for tooth decay and tooth damage, as well as bruxism and TMJ disorder.
•  A localized infection, or pericoronitis. If your wisdom teeth are only able to erupt partially, the back of your mouth becomes very difficult to keep clean. Bacteria, food particles, and plaque are all able to accumulate, which can lead to a localized infection.
•  A cyst. A cyst can form as a result of an impacted tooth or because of an infection. This is a fluid-filled sac that continues to grow in size the longer it goes untreated. Eventually, it can begin to destroy your jawbone. You may even require a bone graft after the issue is finally treated.
•  Damage to adjacent teeth. If your wisdom teeth are growing at an angle, or sideways, toward the adjacent teeth, they can collide with the other teeth. As they continue to grow, they can press on the teeth, which can cause serious damage below the gumline.

Removing Impacted Wisdom Teeth

When your wisdom teeth are impacted, the best way to treat them is to remove them. Wisdom tooth removal is done with a surgical extraction. This procedure is performed under a local anesthetic as well as sedation. The local anesthetic prevents you from feeling any pain while sedation helps you to feel relaxed and comfortable.

A surgical extraction begins with incisions in your gums near the impacted teeth. This exposes the teeth under the gums, as well as the surrounding bone. Next, the impacted teeth are removed. This may require the removal of a small amount of bone. The teeth may need to be broken into sections and removed in separate pieces. Once the teeth have been removed, the sockets are cleaned, and your gums are sutured closed.

If your wisdom teeth are causing significant pain at the back of your jaw and you are finding it difficult to move your mouth, they may be impacted and in need of removal. Call M Street Dental at 253-833-9062 today to schedule your appointment.
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