Wisdom teeth are the third and final set of molars that most people get in their late teens or early twenties. Often, these teeth are misaligned, impacted or partially erupted and require removal.

Wisdom teeth present potential problems when they are misaligned — they can position themselves horizontally, be angled toward or away from the second molars, or be angled inward or outward. Poor alignment of wisdom teeth can crowd or seriously damage adjacent teeth, the jawbone or nerves. Wisdom teeth that lean toward the second molars make those teeth more vulnerable to decay by entrapping plaque and debris. Additionally, wisdom teeth can be entrapped completely within the soft tissue or the jawbone or only partially break through or erupt through the gum. Teeth that remain partially or completely entrapped within the soft tissue or jawbone are termed “impacted.” Wisdom teeth that only partially erupt allow an opening for bacteria to enter around the tooth and cause an infection and inflammation, which result in pain, swelling, jaw stiffness and general illness. Partially erupted teeth are also more prone to tooth decay and gum disease because their hard-to-reach location and awkward positioning makes brushing and flossing difficult.

If you have experienced any of these symptoms or are concerned that your wisdom teeth might be impacted, please contact Coastal Dental Arts at 619-822-2919 right away to schedule a consultation with our dentists, Dr. David Chotiner and associates, and learn more about wisdom teeth removal in San Diego, California.