Why Do Wisdom Teeth Grow Sideways? | Texas Center For Oral Surgery Teeth & Dental Implants

an image of a dental patient in need of a wisdom tooth extracation.
If you’re a young adult, you’ve likely heard of wisdom teeth. These pearly whites are the molars most people get in their late teens. Still, maybe you don’t know why wisdom teeth often grow sideways. It’s a crucial fact to learn, as it can confirm your need for treatment. Your Dallas oral surgeon will gladly share this truth with you. To that end, here’s a primer on sideways wisdom teeth, their risks, and why to have them removed.  

Wisdom Teeth Grow Sideways?

Yes, wisdom teeth can grow sideways at times. This issue – horizontal impaction – leaves your third molars beneath the gumline. From there, the latter teeth will develop parallel to the jawbone. Sideways wisdom teeth usually stem from spacing issues. In those cases, the patient’s mouth lacks room to house the new pearly whites. That means the wisdom teeth can’t erupt properly from the gums. Instead, they’re forced to grow in a horizontal direction. Given these facts, sideways wisdom teeth are often hard to spot. It usually takes a dentist’s help to detect and diagnose them.

The Risks of Horizontal Impaction

Unless you get it treated, horizontal impaction will put your smile at risk. The problems it can cause include the following:

Tooth Damage

When a wisdom tooth is impacted, it can damage your surrounding teeth. This harm can include crowding, chips, cracks, and decay. An infection could even occur after a while. So, it’s best to address the impaction as soon as possible.

Severe Pain

While pain may point to a dental infection, it can also result from impacted wisdom teeth. These chompers may place excess pressure on the ones in front of them. Similarly, they can stress your jaw joint or ‘TMJ.’ Either way, the force involved would make your mouth ache a lot.

Gum Disease

As it turns out, an impacted wisdom tooth also raises your risk of gum disease. The pearly white and its nearby tissues are hard to clean due to their location. When enough bacteria and plaque gather around them, your gums could then suffer an infection.

Consider Wisdom Tooth Removal

Of course, it’s possible to avoid the risks above. You can just have a dentist perform a wisdom tooth removal. Overall, wisdom tooth removal has a few steps. The dentist first injects an anesthetic to numb your tooth and its surroundings. Next, they’ll make an incision in the gums to expose the pearly white and bone. They’ll then use a dental drill to divide the tooth into sections and remove it piece by piece. Having read the above, you know why wisdom teeth grow sideways. Remember that truth when your third molars start acting up!  

About the Practice

Texas Center For Oral Surgery and Dental Implants is based in Dallas, TX. Led by Dr. Tamir D. Anver, our practice handles all sorts of oral surgeries. Much of that work relates to wisdom tooth removal and dental implant options. That said, we also perform bone grafts, lip and tongue tie treatments, and facial trauma procedures. For more details or to book a visit, you can reach us on our website or by phone at (972)-960-1111.

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