Also referred to as third molars, wisdom teeth are the teeth farthest back in your mouth. Because of their location, they can be difficult to clean adequately, making them prone to infection.
Since they are the last teeth to emerge in your late teens or early 20s, there’s not always sufficient space for them to erupt correctly. This can cause them to get stuck in the gums and erupt only partially or not at all.
Some wisdom teeth are involved with cysts and tumors that can lead to jaw fracture and even partial removal of the jaw. In some instances, a wisdom tooth puts pressure on the second molar (the adjacent tooth) and causes resorption (shrinking) of its root.
There is also a risk of nerve injury if the roots of wisdom teeth continue to develop and become entangled with the nerve inside the jaw that provides sensation to your lower lip, chin, and cheek. If the root grows around the nerve, injury can occur, resulting in permanent numbness.
If your dentist has referred you for wisdom teeth extraction, please call Lake Forest Oral Surgery to arrange an initial consultation. Dr. Um will evaluate your oral health, answer your questions, and make recommendations that are appropriate for your needs.