You are probably already familiar with somebody who has had their wisdom teeth removed. For many, the thought of wisdom teeth removal can seem like a daunting and painful process, especially when you do not know what to expect. But it is usually a very quick and uncomplicated procedure, which in the long run be more beneficial to your oral health.
Wisdom teeth typically are the last to appear between the ages of 17 and 25, although can sometimes also appear many years later. As adults, we can have up to 32 teeth, although most people do not have space or jaws large enough to fit all 32 teeth. Therefore, wisdom teeth are not always functional and can cause crowding in the mouth causing problems for you in the future and can also impact other surrounding healthy teeth. As we age the bones in our mouth become harder and removing wisdom teeth can become complicated to remove, to prevent such problems dentist may decide and recommend removing the wisdom teeth in those who are asymptomatic. The following are some of the common causes and symptoms of wisdom teeth removal.
1) Impacted Wisdom Teeth
Impacted wisdom teeth is a term used for wisdom teeth that do not have enough space to come out from the gums and grow normally. Not all patients will experience symptoms with impacted wisdom teeth but those who do some of the symptoms that impacted wisdom teeth cause are:
- Jaw pain and difficulty opening your mouth.
- Swollen or tender gums
- Bleeding gums
- Bad breath
- Inflammation and infection
2) Growing incorrectly
In some cases when wisdom teeth erupt through the gum, they take up too much space in the mouth. They can grow in the wrong direction, either they can come out partially, or come out sideways at a wrong angle. This can cause numerous problems and cause not only pain but also affect nearby teeth. Surrounding teeth can become damaged, teeth can become more susceptible to disease and to prevent further complications the only alternative is to have them removed. A dentist can determine which teeth may need to be removed. They might have to extract all of them or only a few.
3) Pain and Irritation
As wisdom teeth erupt from the gums it is not uncommon for them to cause discomfort and pain. If you are suffering pain or discomfort, contact The Smile Designer Dental Studio for a wisdom teeth exam and an x-ray. This can clarify if it is the actual wisdom teeth or other factors that are causing pain. You may be prescribed antibiotics and have the affected area cleaned by your dentist for a conservative approach, although if the pain continues then your dentist may decide that extraction is needed and may be the best solution to prevent further complications.
4) Stiffness of jaw and Difficulty Eating.
Pain can often be associated while eating, if this is the case then it may indicate that your wisdom teeth are interfering with your eating. Misalignment can occur due to your wisdom teeth, therefore making it difficult to open and close your mouth which can cause pain while chewing and biting your food. If you experience pain while eating, this may indicate that you may have to get your wisdom teeth extracted.
5) Cyst formation
In some cases, wisdom teeth can cause a growth of a cyst. The accumulation of this sac of fluid can infect and cause damage to surrounding structures, roots and in severe rare cases cause bone destruction. If left untreated this can lead to a benign tumour resulting in additional surgery
6) Teeth are Not Straight – Orthodontic/Clear aligner treatment.
If the wisdom teeth grow crooked not only do they cause various problems as discussed earlier but they may even damage the other teeth. If you are beginning the journey of orthodontic treatment for a straighter smile such as Invisalign or braces, then your dentist may need to extract your wisdom teeth to ensure there is enough space for the movement of other teeth. Extraction can also prevent other teeth from having any damage.
7) Sinus Issues
Are you experiencing sinus pain, congestion, headaches, or even pressure in the upper jaw area? Your wisdom teeth may be causing various sinus issues. This occurs when the developing roots of the wisdom teeth push against up on the upper jaw causing pressure into the sinus.
Wisdom teeth can often have a significant impact on cleaning surfaces due to hard-to-reach places where bacteria can hide, this can further lead to cavities and tooth decay. As wisdom teeth erupt this can lead to movement of neighbouring molars consequently causing gaps between teeth creating spaces that are not easily accessible to clean and brush. As food becomes trapped in these hard-to-reach places this encourages bacterial growth and gums become irritated, leading to infections and can also consequently cause the development of cavities. Your dentist can ensure that they find the right solution and products to best handle such problems, if it cannot be resolved then extraction may be the most suitable approach.
9) Inflamed Gums
In other cases when wisdom teeth start to erupt, it can create a flap of gum tissue that forms next to the tooth. If this occurs, then you are at risk of trapping small food particles underneath and around the flap which can lead to the development of bacteria. If this area, which can be hard to reach, is not brushed and clean appropriately then gum tissue around the teeth can also become inflamed and can lead to pericoronitis.
What Is Involved in the Extraction Procedure?
Not everybody gets their wisdom teeth removed. This is always assessed case by case as every individual is different and has different anatomy. For some, they can go their entire life without their wisdom teeth causing them any problems and do not require any extractions. However, for many, extraction is the only option. Ensuring you visit your dentist regularly here at the Smile Designer Dental Studio can prevent any painful incidents later. A wisdom tooth extraction procedure is performed either by a dentist or an oral surgeon. The severity of the case will determine whether your dentist will refer you to an oral surgeon. As wisdom teeth grow through in different ways, some may be too close to the nerve or deep within the jawbone, making some extractions more difficult. In such complex cases your dentist will refer you to an oral surgeon known as an Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon.
However, in most cases, a dentist can safely extract under a local anaesthesia and can also provide in-house sedation options at The Smile Designer Dental Studio. Some people may like the option of having two removed at any given time and follow up on a second appointment to remove the rest however others prefer to have them all removed at the same time.
To discuss your options on what is suitable for your needs do not hesitate to contact our friendly team at The Smile Designer Dental Studio to determine your options and what is appropriate for your wisdom teeth.