People usually get their wisdom teeth at the young adult stage in life. Wisdom teeth are the third set of molars on the upper and lower jaws. In cases where the teeth grow in a proper position, the person does not suffer from any wisdom tooth problems.
Wisdom teeth do not always come in, and/or you may just get the top or bottom set. It is not normally until you see a doctor for x-rays, usually, that you know how many wisdom teeth you have.
The main reason behind wisdom tooth problems is that irregular growth of the teeth. When they are growing, wisdom teeth may not grow straight, but rather grow in an odd angle. This crooked growth is one of the wisdom tooth problems that cause the wisdom tooth to press against the second molar or the gums causing the person great discomfort.
Another cause behind wisdom teeth problems is when a person’s jaw is too small to have them grow in. In these cases, the teeth are usually crowded and there is not enough space for the wisdom tooth to grow. The wisdom tooth then gets trapped in the gums and is not able to split through the gums. A tooth that is unable to break through the gums is called an impacted tooth. Sometimes, the wisdom teeth may break through the gum, but only partially. Here, a small piece of the gum forms a soft flap at the back of the wisdom tooth/teeth, called an operculum. Food getting trapped in the operculum is inevitable and cleaning the operculum cannot be done using an ordinary toothbrush.
Many times, the patient may not realize they need their teeth extracted, because they do not experience any symptoms. However, when they do, the symptoms are usually pain; mostly severe, infection of the gums and swelling of the gums and cheeks in the region.
In almost all types of wisdom teeth problems, the treatment is to extract the tooth or teeth. This can be very painful and therefore patients are given local anesthetics before undergoing the surgery. Wisdom teeth problems are not something that can be avoided, but frequent visits to the dentist can result in a sooner diagnosis of a possible issues.