Wisdom Teeth

Wisdom teeth, also known as third molars, are the final set of molars that typically emerge in late adolescence or early adulthood, usually between the ages of 17 and 25. These teeth were once essential for our distant ancestors, who had a tough, fibrous diet that required extra grinding power. However, with modern dietary changes and improved dental hygiene, many people find their mouths no longer have sufficient space for these additional molars.


Wisdom Teeth Eruption and Potential Problems

Wisdom teeth develop within the jawbone later than other teeth and usually begin to erupt when a person is in their late teens or early twenties. The eruption process can vary from person to person, with some experiencing no problems while others may face complications. When issues arise, they can be painful and lead to additional oral health issues. Common problems may include:


Impaction of the wisdom teeth. Impacted wisdom teeth lead to pain, swelling, and sometimes infection. These teeth may also push against adjacent molars, causing crowding and misalignment of the teeth.

Gum Disease

Poor oral hygiene is often the result because it is difficult to clean around impacted wisdom teeth. When you cannot keep the teeth and surrounding gums free of plaque and bacteria, the area becomes a breeding ground for gum disease, leading to chronic gum inflammation and periodontal disease. Over time, the gums may recede, leading to bone loss and tooth loss.

Infection or Abscess

If a wisdom tooth is only able to emerge partially, they are challenging to keep clean. Pockets of gum tissue around the tooth gather food debris and harmful bacteria, often triggering infection. Over time, infections can lead to abscesses that may lead to serious health risks and require hospitalization.


When wisdom teeth are impacted, a fluid-filled sac may form around them. These cysts damage the jawbone, nerves, and adjacent teeth. Removing or draining a cyst and treating the surrounding area is a costly treatment plan that can be avoided by removing wisdom teeth before they are impacted or infected.

Long-Term Health Issues

Wisdom teeth problems can cause many health problems and impact your ability to eat and speak comfortably. Chronic pain can be difficult to control without wisdom teeth extraction. Infection and abscesses can contribute to bacteria in the bloodstream that affect other areas of the body, including the heart.

Evaluating Wisdom Teeth

Your dentist diagnoses wisdom teeth issues through a physical examination and dental imaging, such as X-rays or 3D imaging scans. This evaluation determines the position, orientation, and overall health of the teeth, helping to decide the most appropriate course of action.

Treatment options for problematic wisdom teeth may include extraction, especially if there is pain, impaction, or potential for future issues. However, not all cases require removal, and the treatment plan will depend on the individual’s situation. If your dentist feels that wisdom teeth extraction will correct current problems or prevent future complications, they may refer you to our office for surgical removal of the wisdom teeth.

The Importance of Early Intervention

Early intervention is crucial to prevent complications. Addressing wisdom teeth problems promptly can reduce the risk of infection, pain, and damage to neighboring teeth or structures in the mouth. Wisdom teeth extraction in your teens or twenties is a relatively straightforward oral surgery procedure.

As you age, the roots of the wisdom teeth continue to grow deeper into the jawbone, making extraction more complicated. The longer tooth roots may become entangled in nerve bundles in the jawbone, making removal more difficult and possibly causing permanent nerve damage. The older you are, the longer the recovery, with more discomfort. Early intervention can prevent complications and ensure a quick and complete recovery.

Wisdom Teeth Extraction

Before the extraction procedure, patients will receive instructions from their oral surgeon or dentist. These instructions may include fasting before the surgery, arranging for transportation home, and discussing any medical conditions or medications that could affect the procedure.

During the extraction, your oral surgeon administers anesthesia to ensure comfort during the procedure. Depending on the case’s complexity, your oral surgeon may need to remove gum tissue or bone to access the wisdom teeth. Once accessible, the teeth are extracted, and any necessary stitches are placed. For most patients, removal takes 30-90 minutes, depending on the complexity of the procedure and how many wisdom teeth are removed.

Post-Operative Considerations

While wisdom teeth extraction is generally safe, as with any oral surgery, there are potential complications. Following your post-operative care instructions is crucial to prevent infection, dry socket (a painful condition where the blood clot at the extraction site dislodges), nerve damage, and prolonged healing. Please get in touch with our office promptly if you develop any unusual or severe symptoms. We will see you in our office to evaluate and treat any issues to ensure a healthy recovery.

Wisdom teeth can be a source of discomfort and potential dental issues for many individuals. Early diagnosis and intervention can significantly reduce the impact of these issues, and wisdom teeth extraction is a common and effective solution when necessary. Proper preparation, care, and monitoring can help ensure a smooth recovery and minimize potential complications.

If you suspect issues with your wisdom teeth, consult your dentist or contact our office at West Toledo Office Phone Number 419-517-2100 for an evaluation and guidance on the best course of action for your oral health.

Call West Toledo Office Phone Number 419-517-2100 to schedule your wisdom teeth consultation.
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