Are you left with questions after your dentist recommended that you remove your wisdom teeth? Is it really necessary? Wisdom teeth, or third molars, are the last permanent teeth to emerge in the mouth. These typically appear between the ages of 17 and 25. For many people, these can cause all sorts of dental issues if they don’t have enough room in their mouth. In some cases, people experience pain when these appear, while in others, they are a hindrance while trying to clean their teeth properly.
Not sure what your options are regarding wisdom teeth removal? Don’t worry—this article is your go-to guide for understanding wisdom teeth: why they appear, prevention tips, symptoms that require a visit to the dentist, treatments available, and much more. Read on as we cover everything related to wisdom teeth!
What are wisdom teeth?
Wisdom teeth are a set of four additional molars, usually the last adult teeth to appear in the mouth. The name “wisdom teeth” is derived from their late appearance and the fact that older people tend to get them and gain a bit more ‘wisdom’ in life. These teeth typically erupt between the ages of 17 and 25, and they may not always fit properly into your smile. This can lead to crowding of nearby teeth, impaction (when they do not completely emerge), or other problems such as gum disease and tooth decay. In many cases, wisdom tooth extraction may be necessary if they are causing pain or other issues.
Potential Issues Caused by Wisdom Teeth
Some of the potential issues caused by wisdom teeth include impaction, infection, and damage to surrounding teeth. To prevent any of these issues from happening, it’s important to stay on top of having a professional examine your wisdom teeth and set up regular dental check-ups with your dentist. It is possible they will suggest the removal of wisdom teeth so that there is no risk of complications.
Impaction is when a wisdom tooth does not have enough room to grow properly. This can cause the tooth to become stuck in the jawbone or gums, which can lead to pain and infection.
Damage to Adjacent Teeth
If a wisdom tooth is impacted, it can cause damage to neighboring teeth. This is because the wisdom tooth can push against the adjacent teeth and cause them to become crooked or misaligned.
Infection of the Surrounding Gum Tissue
Wisdom teeth can also increase your risk of infection if they are not properly cared for. This is because bacteria can accumulate around the wisdom tooth and cause a painful infection. If left untreated, this infection can spread to other parts of the mouth and even the body.
If a wisdom tooth is impacted, it can put pressure on the nerves in the jawbone, which can cause pain and numbness in the face, jaw, and neck.
Teeth crowding is a common issue caused by wisdom teeth. When wisdom teeth come in, they can push the other teeth out of alignment and cause them to become crowded. This can lead to crooked or misaligned teeth, as well as difficulty with brushing and flossing.
Signs a Patient Needs Wisdom Teeth Removal Surgery
If your wisdom teeth are causing pain or discomfort, it is likely a sign that you need to have them removed. In some cases, wisdom teeth can be left intact if they are not causing any issues. However, if they are causing pain or other problems, it is best to have them removed to prevent oral health issues.
Symptoms that may indicate the need for removal include:
- Severe pain or swelling in the mouth
- Jaw pain
- Difficulty opening your mouth
- Redness or tenderness around the wisdom teeth area
- Bad breath or taste in your mouth
- Difficulty chewing or biting
Tips for Easing Wisdom Tooth Pain
If you’re experiencing wisdom teeth pain, there are a few tips you can try to ease the discomfort.
- Get plenty of rest: Make sure that you’re getting enough rest and managing your stress levels, as wisdom tooth pain can worsen when you’re tired or overwhelmed.
- Use a cold compress: Applying a cold compress or ice packs to the side of your face where the pain is concentrated can help to reduce swelling and provide temporary relief from discomfort.
- Try an over-the-counter pain medication: Over-the-counter medications like ibuprofen or acetaminophen can help manage soreness and inflammation caused by wisdom teeth emergence.
- Take an oral analgesic: An oral analgesic like benzocaine may provide stronger relief than an OTC pain reliever, but it should be used judiciously and only after consulting with your dentist or doctor about potential side effects.
- Visit your dentist for professional advice: If home remedies don’t bring relief, don’t hesitate to reach out to your dentist for further analysis and advice on how to best manage the problem – whether through prescription medication or other treatments like removal.
Treatment and Procedures for Wisdom Teeth
If your dentist determines that your wisdom teeth need to be removed, there are a few different dental treatment options available. These include:
- Surgical extraction – This is the most common type of wisdom tooth removal and involves an oral surgeon making an incision in the gum tissue to remove the tooth.
- Non-surgical extraction – This type of extraction is less invasive and involves the dentist using forceps to remove the tooth.
- Partial removal – If a wisdom tooth is partially impacted, your dentist may be able to remove just the part of the tooth that is causing problems.
- Orthodontic treatment – In some cases, orthodontic treatment may be necessary to move other teeth in order to make room for the wisdom teeth.
- Medication – Your dentist may prescribe antibiotics or pain medication to help with any pain or infection caused by the wisdom teeth.
Contact Our Office for Wisdom Teeth Extraction
Wisdom teeth can cause a variety of issues if they are not properly cared for. It’s important to stay on top of checking for impacted wisdom teeth and set up regular dental check-ups with a dental professional. If your dentist determines that your wisdom teeth need to be removed, there are a few different treatment options available, including surgical extraction, non-surgical extraction, partial removal, orthodontic treatment, and medication.
Contact our dental office today if you need treatment for your wisdom teeth. Our highly trained staff is more than happy to walk you through all of your options and get you the care you require.