Most people are aware that wisdom teeth can frequently cause trouble. However, did you know that unlike the rest of your teeth, you don’t really need them for your bite to function properly? Wisdom teeth, or third molars, are remnants of a time past, when our ancestors needed more biting and chewing power to eat tougher foods. Since then, our jawbones have evolved to be smaller and our diets softer, making a third set of molars extraneous. Because of this, many people experience trouble such as wisdom tooth impaction, a condition where third molars become impeded by adjacent second molars and cannot erupt properly from the jawbone.
The Trouble with Tooth Impaction
Because of the trouble they cause, impacted wisdom teeth are the most frequently extracted types of teeth. Because that trouble is so common, patients often choose wisdom tooth extraction before their third molars even begin to show signs of trouble. When a wisdom tooth becomes impacted, it will continue to try and push against the tooth impeding it, which can lead to a variety of complications, such as:
- Increasing tooth pain – As third molars push against the rest of your teeth, the entire area of your mouth can become increasingly more painful. The wisdom tooth and those surrounding it will grow more sensitive, and the pain can spread to your surrounding jawbone and gums.
- Trouble biting and chewing – The force from an impacted wisdom tooth doesn’t just cause a toothache; it can also force your teeth out of alignment, making it more difficult to bite and chew comfortably. Your tooth misalignment will grow worse the longer the impacted wisdom tooth is left in place, and extracting it will be necessary before correcting your bite.
- Chronic headaches and/or earaches – Toothaches are among the most severe types of chronic pain, and in some cases, the discomfort can spread to include chronic headaches, earaches, and migraines. Your dominant cranial nerve group, known as the trigeminal nerves, rest close to your jaw, and wisdom tooth pain can aggravate the nerve all along your head and neck.
Find Out if You Have an Impacted Wisdom Tooth
The problem with impacted wisdom teeth is that, if not removed, they’ll continue to cause increasing dental pain and oral health complications. To find out if you have an impacted wisdom tooth that needs to be extracted, schedule a consultation by calling Lake Forest Dental Arts in Lake Forest, IL, at 847-234-0517. We also proudly serve residents Chicago and all surrounding communities.