Wisdom Teeth


Wisdom teeth are the last of your 32 teeth to erupt and normally come in between the ages of 17 and 25. If there is not enough room in the mouth for the teeth, they may become impacted or come in crooked. This can cause other teeth to shift, possibly undoing orthodontic work, or lead to pain and infection. However, in the early stages of eruption, wisdom teeth may not cause any symptoms.

Studies have shown that early evaluation and treatment of wisdom teeth (link to services page about wisdom teeth) result in the best outcome for patients. X-rays can reveal if wisdom teeth are still below the jawbone or closer to the gum, and if they are in position to come in straight or if they are turned. In addition, teeth removed before the age of 20 have less developed roots and fewer complications.

Wisdom teeth should be evaluated starting around age 16. Annual dental appointments and X-rays can catch impacted teeth early before they create problems or painful symptoms. Sometimes a dentist or oral surgeon will want to monitor the progress of wisdom tooth eruption over a period of time to determine if removal is necessary or not.

Symptoms of Impacted Wisdom Teeth

While impacted teeth may not create any issues early on, they do have the potential to cause a wide range of symptoms, including:

  • Pain near the back of the mouth
  • Swollen and bleeding gums
  • Swelling or stiffness around the jaw
  • Headache
  • Swollen lymph nodes in the neck
  • Bad breath

Schedule an Evaluation Today

If your teen is 16 years old or older, has any symptoms of impacted teeth, or has never been evaluated, schedule an appointment with your family dentist or an oral surgeon for an examination and X-ray. Our Oral Surgeons have experience evaluating wisdom teeth in teens and young adults. If the removal of wisdom teeth is necessary, they will review the type of surgery and anesthesia recommended for your individual situation. Call us at 336-275-6600 to schedule your appointment today.

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