Common Third Molar Problems

Third molars, also known as wisdom teeth, are one of the most commonly removed teeth. Whether they aren’t growing in correctly or aren’t growing at all, third molar problems can be both painful and bothersome. By ignoring the issues caused by third molars patients risk several conditions that could have otherwise been prevented.

Most third molar problems are caught because of regular dental check-ups. In fact, if you’re visiting the dentist twice a year, there’s no reason for you to suffer any of these extreme issues. Once your dentist sees that your third molar is causing issues or has the potential to cause issues, they will likely set a date to have it removed.

While you’ve likely heard horror stories about wisdom teeth removal, none of them can be as horrible as what will happen if you don’t get that pesky tooth taken care of. Dr. Gonzalez will help determine if you’re a candidate for wisdom tooth extraction. He typically makes this decision using x-rays and a through an exam.


An obvious infection is one of the reasons for an immediate removal of the third molar. The infections can become severe, leading to infection of the bone and neck. Once the bone becomes infected you risk spreading that infection to surrounding teeth and throughout the body. When infections spread to the face and neck patients risk complications as severe as brain damage and may even need a plastic surgeon for reconstruction.

Immediate removal allows the dentist to both evacuate the infection and begin the healing process for your entire mouth.

Damage to Surrounding Teeth

When third molars do not grow properly, they typically impact surrounding teeth. For example, if your third molar is growing sideways, that growth will cause surrounding teeth to be pushed inwards and become crooked.

This results in more than just cosmetic issues. In fact, shifting of teeth will impact your entire bite and ultimately impact the way you chew and how your teeth wear down.

Bone Loss

Bone loss is a serious complication that can lead to loss of surrounding teeth. When bone loss is an issue dentists often have to graft bone, which is both lengthy and expensive. Additionally, the recovery required for such surgeries is quite extensive.


Imagine having a partially erupted tooth rubbing against your cheek at all times. After a while, an ulcer would form and if not treated that ulcer would become infected. Once this occurs the dentist now has three issues to address: the infected cheek, the ulcer, and the third molar that needs to be removed.

Addressing all three is crucial to healing, however, is also expensive and easily preventable.

If you’ve noticed pain in your back jaw or are looking for a dentist experienced with third molar problems, contact our office. Dr. Gonzalez has extensive experience in treating third molars, along with a slew of other dental conditions.

He can help determine the best course of treatment and is committed to providing patients with the best options for their unique needs.

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