What Are The Wisdom Teeth And What Causes Them To Become Impacted?
Your wisdom teeth are your third and final set of molars that emerge – usually towards the end of your teens or the beginning of your 20s. Most people find their wisdom teeth are problematic but some people do go through their lives without needing to remove them.
If you are fortunate to have wisdom teeth that grow straight, you will not need to have them removed.
Why You Should Have Impacted Wisdom Teeth Removed
Having your wisdom teeth removed as soon as they show signs of being impacted can help to avoid lengthy and costly complications in the future.
An impacted wisdom tooth cannot emerge properly from beneath the gum. This means there is a space available through which bacteria can enter your gums and develop infections.
What Can Impacted Wisdom Teeth Cause?
Impacted wisdom teeth are more difficult to keep clean because they do not emerge straight. This makes them more prone to decay. Untreated decay can result in abscess or cyst formation, as well as infection in the surrounding bone.
When you visit your dentist every six months, he or she will take x rays of your wisdom teeth, to see how they are erupting and may recommend that you have them removed even before they erupt from the gum.This can help you to avoid a more expensive and complex extraction later on.
How Do You Know If Your Wisdom Teeth Should Be Removed?
Your dentist is best equipped to diagnose impacted wisdom teeth. If you are between visits however, you may experience some of these common symptoms:
- Swelling and inflammation of the gums around the wisdom teeth
- Jaw pain or tenderness
- Bad breath
- Bad taste in your mouth
- Evidence of cysts around your tooth
How Does The Wisdom Tooth Extraction Process Work?
Most wisdom tooth extractions can be carried out in your dentist’s chair but some, more complex procedures may be done in a hospital environment.
If you do have your extraction done in-chair, your dentist will first inject the area with anaesthetic. Your dentist may need to make an incision into your gum, to get to the wisdom tooth underneath. Sometimes, if the extraction is very difficult, the tooth may need to be cut into smaller pieces.
Sometimes a stitch is placed to help with the recovery process, otherwise you will be given a piece of gauze to bite down onto, to curb the bleeding. To facilitate a faster recovery you should
- Avoid smoking in the 24 hours after the extraction
- Avoid drinking through a straw
- Not run your tongue or finger over the extraction site
- Not brush or use mouthwash in the 24 hours after your extraction
Are you experiencing discomfort from impacted wisdom teeth? Please contact us for assistance: (02) 4210 9078.
Note: Any surgical or invasive procedure carries risks. Before proceeding, you should seek a second opinion from an appropriately qualified health practitioner.