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Mark Bornfeld, DDS
Mark Bornfeld, DDS, Dentist
Category: Dental
Satisfied Customers: 6021
Experience:  Clinical instructor, NYU College of Dentistry; 37 years private practice experience in general dentistry, member Academy of General Dentistry, ADA, American Academy of Oral Medicine
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I have a hole in my gum slightly to the left side, behind my

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I have a hole in my gum slightly to the left side, behind my last molar. The gum is moderately tender, but not painful. It goes pretty deep, so I have to use a toothpick to keep it clean, and I can feel either bone or tooth underneath. Is this a sign of my wisdom tooth coming in? or something worse?
Dear ,

Your description suggests that you may indeed have a wisdom tooth partially emerged from beneath the gum. Whether that means that the tooth is still in the process of
eruption or is impacted in that position is difficult to assess, but it is more likely that the tooth has already erupted as much as it's going to-- most wisdom teeth assume their final position by age 25.

The fact that you have some discomfort in the gum tissue around the submerged wisdom tooth suggests that you have a "pericoronitis"-- and infection caused by bacteria in the deep follicle surrounding the impacted tooth. This condition usually remits by itself, but tends to recur. Pericoronitis can vary in severity from time to time, so the continued presence of that wisdom tooth will pose an ongoing risk of repeated infection, discomfort, and inconvenience. There is also possible for that wisdom tooth to cause damage to the adjacent second molar. It is for these reasons that you should have your wisdom teeth properly assessed by your dentist. In some cases, it is prudent to remove impacted wisdom teeth so that these potential problems can be averted.

Hope this helps...
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