There may be issues with a growing wisdom tooth (3rd molar), which usually begin to emerge from around the age of 18 years old. If the wisdom tooth grows out straight and does not have any accompanying long term problems, they can usually be left alone.
If the wisdom tooth does not grow out straight, there are varying problems that may arise.
Some of the more common problems include:
- Frequent food trapping. This can cause gum swelling and inflammation. There is also an increased chance of the 2nd molar having tooth decay from the difficulty in proper cleaning. This decay on the 2nd molar is frequently a very deep decay that may lead to future problems if left unattended, and may even necessitate Root Canal Treatment or even extraction.
- Swollen gums from infection or cysts. This leads to pain and may also cause difficulty in opening of the jaws.
Although there is a common misconception that wisdom teeth should be removed when there is pain, we do advise patients to remove wisdom teeth even in the absence of pain or swelling as a prevention to more complicated treatments.