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Wisdom teeth, sometimes also referred to as third molars, are large molars that erupt from both the upper and lower jaw during early adulthood. They usually appear between the ages of 18 and 21. Sometimes wisdom teeth only partially come through the gums. Other times, they remain completely hidden. Also, if they are not able to erupt normally they can become impacted, or trapped, within your jaw. This can create a wide range of unpleasant and potentially dangerous symptoms, such as:
Swelling around the impacted tooth often results in pain and a sensation of pressure that can make it more difficult to chew or open and close the mouth. Furthermore, sometimes wisdom teeth protrude at an angle, causing them to create friction against the patient’s cheek, mouth, or tongue.
While wisdom teeth once served an important function (providing people with “backup” molars in an era when losing molars early in life was common), today they often overcrowd the mouth. Their location far at the back of the mouth makes them difficult to reach when brushing. Wisdom teeth are therefore very prone to decay, and this decay often spreads to adjacent molars.
In addition to being susceptible to decay-related infections, wisdom teeth often become infected due to partial eruption. When wisdom teeth cannot break through the gums fully, bacteria collects in the space between the tissue covering the tooth and the tooth itself. This leads to chronic gum infections. Those with small jaws are particularly prone to developing partially or wholly impacted wisdom teeth.
Dr. Ly and his associates can safely and comfortably remove the tooth or teeth with local anesthetic accompanied by inhaled minimal and/or moderate sedation. Contact our dental clinic today for more consultation about wisdom teeth removal.
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