Age-Related Dental Issues: Problems With Wisdom Teeth

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Dental changes occur as a person ages. These natural changes can affect your oral health and may require professional dental treatment. One age-related development is the presentation of your wisdom teeth.

Wisdom teeth were given their name because of the time of life during which they appear. Instead of erupting during early childhood, wisdom teeth don't break through the gums until a person reaches his or her late teens. Often, they don't present until the early twenties. Here are some of the problems that may occur as the wisdom teeth present.

Problems with Wisdom Teeth

Like the presentation of other teeth, the eruption of your wisdom teeth can be uncomfortable. However, because of the location of the teeth in the mouth, additional problems can ensue.


As the third molars, wisdom teeth are the final teeth in your mouth to erupt. They are located at the very rear of your mouth, where a toothbrush and dental floss are difficult to navigate. Thus, they are more likely to suffer decay. Dental decay can spread from your wisdom teeth to other healthy teeth in the oral cavity.

Gum Problems

In addition, wisdom teeth can cause gum problems. Problems with cleaning around the teeth can lead to a buildup of plaque, which contains oral bacteria. Bacterial acids corrode the tooth enamel, but they also inflame gum tissues. This inflammation can progress to gingival infections and gum disease. 

Movement of Other Teeth

It there is too little room in your mouth to accommodate the wisdom teeth or if the teeth are not growing in a perfectly straight configuration, wisdom teeth can also force your teeth out of alignment. Sometimes, a wisdom tooth places pressure on nearby teeth before the wisdom tooth even breaks the surface of the gums. Your dentist can use dental x-rays to determine how a wisdom tooth that is still below the gum line is aligned.

Often, the removal of the wisdom teeth is prescribed to reduce associated problems. If your wisdom teeth do need to be extracted, your dentist may suggest their removal during your teens, as the teeth are still developing. Frequently, by the time a person is well into their twenties, wisdom teeth are firmly rooted into the jawbone, making their extraction more difficult. A wisdom tooth with a crown that is still fully or partially beneath the gums requires surgical extraction.

For more information about wisdom tooth problems or to have your teeth examined and treated, schedule an appointment with a family dentist in your local area.

Additional insight can be found by contacting a company such as Rupp and Grabowski Family Dentistry.