Are you in your late teens or early 20s and finding yourself wincing from pain at the back of your mouth? Then impacted wisdom teeth can be a potential cause. It’s a rite of passage that often comes with its share of discomfort. These late-arriving molars have challenged so many people with their unpredictable emergence and potential for trouble. But why do we need wisdom tooth removal and how can this be beneficial for our health? Read on to understand more about these troublesome molars, their treatment and impact on oral health.
Wisdom teeth or the third molars, are the last set of molars located at the back of the mouth. Most people have four wisdom teeth, one in each corner of the mouth—two on the top and two on the bottom. These teeth typically emerge in late adolescence or early adulthood, usually between the ages of 17 and 25.
Interestingly, not everyone develops wisdom teeth, and some individuals may go through life without them ever making an appearance. For those who do grow wisdom teeth, some may not experience any problem, while for others, complications such as impaction can arise.
Impacted wisdom teeth occur when there isn’t enough space in the jaw for these molars to fully emerge or develop normally. This can lead to various issues, including pain, swelling, and potential damage to surrounding teeth. In such situations, wisdom tooth removal is usually recommended to avoid further pain and damage to your teeth.
Wisdom teeth emerge at a stage when your teeth and jaw are fully developed. As a result, they get stuck because of lack of space, growing at an wrong angle and tipping into other teeth. In other instances, they may come out partially before getting stuck in the bone or might stay completely trapped under the gumline. Erupt at the wrong angle or get stuck under the gumline or bone. This can lead to various oral problems such as:
- Persistent pain and discomfort, particularly when they try to erupt through the gum tissue.
- Swollen and tender gum tissue, leading to inflammation around the impacted wisdom tooth.
- Creation of pockets where bacteria can accumulate, causing infections. .
- Increased risk of gum disease in the surrounding areas because of accumulation of bacteria or debris around the wisdom tooth.
- In some cases, cystsmay develop around impacted wisdom teeth, potentially causing damage to the jawbone and surrounding structures.
- Wisdom teeth may exert pressure on neighbouring teeth, causing misalignment or crowding in the dental arch.
- Headaches or sinus issues because of the upper wisdom teeth.
- Chewing may become difficult and uncomfortable due to the presence of impacted wisdom teeth.
- Because of their inaccessible location, partially erupted wisdom teeth can be challenging to clean, making them susceptible to tooth decay and cavities.
Wisdom teeth removal is recommended to address existing problems and prevent potential complications that may arise due to the unique characteristics and late arrival of these molars. Consulting with a dentist is essential to determine the necessity of wisdom tooth extraction based on your oral health considerations.
Removing wisdom teeth offers several benefits that contribute to overall oral health and well-being:
Removing an impacted wisdom tooth reduces the risk of infection, decay and gum disease, protecting the healthy teeth and saving you from further pain. Timely intervention allows dentists to detect emerging wisdom teeth, monitoring their growth and recommending removal if there’s risk of impaction. This saves you from future hassle, visits to the dentists and increased risk of oral problems.
Impacted wisdom teeth not only cause consistent and severe toothache but can also lead to headaches, jaw stiffness and pain. Removing them provides immediate pain relief, allowing you to continue your life without disruption and improved overall comfort and well being.
Wisdom teeth can push adjacent teeth out of alignment as they try to emerge. This can lead to crowding and misalignment of your existing teeth. Removing wisdom teeth can help maintain proper tooth alignment.
Wisdom teeth are located at the very back of the mouth, making them difficult to clean properly. Their removal simplified oral hygiene routines, reducing the risk of cavities and gum disease caused by food particles left in the back molars.
In some cases, upper wisdom teeth can press against the sinuses, leading to sinus discomfort, pressure, and even sinus infections. Removal of these upper wisdom teeth can help prevent or alleviate sinus-related problems, ensuring better overall nasal and oral health.
The thought of a wisdom tooth removal may be daunting. But it’s important to understand the potential complications that can arise if an impacted wisdom tooth is not removed. The procedure for wisdom tooth removal can vary depending on factors such as the tooth’s position, whether it’s impacted, and your overall oral health.
The process begins with an initial consultation to examine the extent of impaction and determine the best way to move forward. X-rays might be needed for wisdom teeth stuck under the gumline and any infection must be treated before the procedure.
Your dentist will administer anaesthesia to ensure your comfort during the procedure. If the tooth is impacted or hasn’t fully emerged, the dentist will make an incision in the gum to access the tooth and remove the wisdom tooth. This may involve dividing the tooth into sections for easier extraction, especially if it’s impacted. In some cases, stitches may be needed to close the incision. These stitches are typically dissolvable and don’t need removal.
Your dentist will schedule a follow-up to monitor your healing and ensure there are no complications. Recovery time varies, but most people can resume normal activities within a few days to a week. It’s essential to follow post-operative care instructions and attend any follow-up appointments for a smooth recovery.
At Dana Street Dental, we understand that each patient’s needs are unique and each wisdom tooth eruption may vary. This is why we monitor your wisdom teeth and oral health with regular dental checkups and oral examinations. This allows our dentists to detect emerging oral issues which may not always be visible and provide timely treatment. If your wisdom tooth has already become impacted, we conduct a detailed examination, using X-rays to ensure an accurate and efficient extraction. Our caring dentists will discuss sedation options, informing you about the details so you will know what to expect. Our priority is your peace of mind and overall wellness so that you have a positive experience with us and leave with a healthier, happier and pain free smile.
Don’t live with the pain of an impacted wisdom tooth. If you’re experiencing pain, bleeding or have difficulty opening your mouth, contact one of our dentists without delay. Whether it’s an impacted wisdom tooth, tooth decay or emergency treatment for a dental infection, our gentle Ballarat Dentists are here with you at every stage of your dental journey. With the mission to promote your overall wellness and overall well being with quality dental care, we provide bespoke treatment tailored to your oral, aesthetic and lifestyle needs.
Book a consultation at Dana Street Dental today.