Wisdom Teeth

Wisdom teeth, also referred to as the third set of molars, are the last set of teeth to develop. They form in the back of the mouth on the upper and lower jaw. Most people’s wisdom teeth surface when they are teenagers or young adults.

Wisdom teeth can become a problem when they fail to grow in proper alignment with the rest of our teeth.  When these teeth are not growing in correctly, it is referred to as being impacted. A tooth that is impacted may have only broken through the gum partially, or not at all. This can lead to infection, pain, tooth decay, gum disease and crowding of the teeth that are adjacent.

The signs and symptoms of an impacted wisdom tooth include:

  • Tenderness of the jaw
  • Bad breath
  • Bleeding gums
  • Swollen gums
  • Problems opening the mouth

Wisdom teeth that are impacted can’t be prevented. The best way to monitor for a potential problem is to have regular oral check-ups and an x-ray of the mouth every year. Not all wisdom teeth are going to be impacted, but when they are, and if symptoms develop, your dentist may want to remove them to prevent potential infections, disruption of the other teeth, and also to prevent further discomfort.

If you would like to schedule an appointment with a dentist at Jamaica Hospital Medical Center, you may call 718-206-6980

All content of this newsletter is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult a medical professional before adopting any of the suggestions on this page. You must never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment based upon any content of this newsletter. PROMPTLY CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN OR CALL 911 IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY.