Common Wisdom Tooth Complications

Common Wisdom Tooth ComplicationsGregory skeens d.d.s.encinitas family dentistry

Are you, your teen, or your college student experiencing pain or infection around your wisdom teeth? Wisdom tooth removal, complications, and concerns are common issues that our dentist in Encinitas sees in young adults.

Why do so many people need to have their wisdom teeth removed? Because of complications that lead to infection, pain, or other unwanted side effects. Here are some of the most common wisdom tooth complications to be aware of:

Impacted Wisdom Teeth

Only a very small percentage of people have enough space for their wisdom teeth to properly and fully erupt into their mouths. One of the reasons why is that preventative care makes it possible to keep our other teeth healthy, lowering the risk and frequency of tooth loss. As a result, their wisdom teeth become impacted because of a lack of space. There might even be pain or swelling that comes and goes periodically.

Our dentist in Encinitas recommends removing impacted wisdom teeth to prevent further complications. Especially if they are causing discomfort.

Partial Eruption

Because of limited spacing in your mouth, wisdom teeth may only erupt part-way through the gums. This partial eruption results in a small amount of tooth being visible, while the remaining portion is tucked under the gum tissues.

As you might suspect, food and plaque can easily make their way into the opening in your gums and around your wisdom tooth. In turn, you’re extremely likely to develop cavities or other painful infections since a toothbrush or floss won’t reach those spaces. Left untouched, the decay will eventually “jump” to your adjacent healthy tooth, compounding the problem within a matter of months.

Cysts Around Wisdom Teeth

Every developing tooth has what’s called an “eruption cyst” as it’s getting ready to break through the bone and gum tissues, into the mouth. But if a tooth becomes lodged inside of the jaw or impacted, the cyst can prove to be problematic. Especially when it continues to enlarge or invade the surrounding anatomical structures.

Cysts around impacted wisdom teeth can cause bone resorption (shrinkage) and physically harm the adjacent teeth. If we notice a visible cyst on your panoramic X-ray, removal of your wisdom teeth is highly recommended.

Crowding and Tooth Movement

As wisdom teeth “grow in” they place pressure on the structures around them. If you’re someone who already wore braces, this can be a major concern. Especially since the pressure of the wisdom teeth can physically move the other teeth in your mouth. When they press into the next tooth, it creates a chain reaction throughout your mouth, pushing the teeth forward toward the front of your face. Over time, you’ll likely see your front teeth start to crowd or overlap one another.

If you have an orthodontic retainer, be sure to wear it as frequently as possible (and definitely every night) to minimize tooth shifting caused by wisdom teeth.

Damage to the Next Tooth

When a wisdom tooth is developing at an angle or pushing into the tooth next to it, the force can be so strong that it permanently damages your other healthy tooth. In some circumstances, it might even kill the other tooth. Especially if it’s growing into the roots of the tooth and pressing against the nerve chambers.

Cavities and Gum Disease

Because of their location and tendency to partially erupt, wisdom teeth are extremely difficult to keep clean. In turn, they tend to be highly susceptible to tooth decay and periodontal infection.

Even though it may be possible to treat infections in fully-erupted wisdom teeth, they tend to develop recurring decay and periodontitis. Both conditions can spread into the adjacent tooth, requiring additional treatment that could have otherwise been prevented. As such, it’s usually best to extract your wisdom teeth as soon as signs of decay and periodontal infections begin to develop.

Wisdom Tooth Extractions in Encinitas

Our Dentist in Encinitas can evaluate you or your teen’s wisdom teeth to determine if removal is necessary. For screenings, exams, and wisdom tooth extraction near you, turn to Encinitas Family Dentistry. Contact us today.

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Dr. Gregory Skeens Encinitas Family Dentistry

Welcome to the Encinitas dental office of Gregory Skeens, JR., DDS. We are your home for caring dental treatment that supports superior oral health and helps you achieve the beautiful smile you’ve always wanted. Our modern facility is equipped with cutting-edge technology and our team is here to make your visit enjoyable and relaxing.

We take a truly individualized approach to dentistry, which is why our practice is so popular. After every treatment, Encinitas dentist Dr. Skeens personally makes follow- up phone calls to patients to ensure that they are feeling well. Your comfort and well-being are of ultimate importance.

Gregory W. Skeens, DDS | 519 Encinitas Blvd Suite 104, Encinitas, CA 92024 | Phone: (760) 944-9288 | Text: (760) 933-3077 | Email:

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