The removal of wisdom teeth is one of the world’s most common dental procedures.
The wisdom teeth grow at the back gums in your mouth and are typically the last teeth to come out. Most people have one wisdom tooth in every corner, making four in total.
Wisdom teeth normally develop through the gums during late adolescence or early 20s. The other 28 adult teeth are generally in place by this time, so there’s not always enough space in the mouth for the wisdom teeth to grow properly.
Wisdom teeth may often appear at an angle or get stuck and only partially appear because of the lack of space. These are known as impacted teeth.
How do you Know if you Need Wisdom Tooth Extraction?
Often pain in the upper or lower jaw can be the first sign that your wisdom teeth are causing trouble.
At the back of your mouth you can feel a sensation of pressure. The gum tissue around the wisdom tooth that erupts sometimes becomes sensitive, bloated, and inflamed.
You might be feeling no pain at all, though. But painlessness doesn’t automatically mean there’s no problem. In fact, many people have no symptoms which will tell them whether they need to extract their wisdom teeth or not.
That is why you should have a dentist inspect your wisdom teeth to decide if extraction is necessary.
You can book an appointment with your dentist who will examine your teeth to determine if an extraction is needed or you can go here to get more information about booking an examination if you don’t have your dentist close by.
What Causes Problems with Wisdom Teeth?
If your jaw cannot accommodate your wisdom teeth, they may get stuck in your jaw and can’t break out from your gums.
An impacted wisdom tooth may push other teeth together and produce painful, swollen, and infected gum flaps.
Wisdom teeth that manage to break through your gums can cause cavities, gingivitis and periodontitis, as they can be difficult to clean. A cyst may often develop and can affect the bone or roots.
Most wisdom teeth erupt when an individual is 15 to 25 years old. Few people over 30 have wisdom teeth problems that require removal.
Most dentists believe you should get your wisdom teeth looked at when you’re 16 to 19 years old. Some dentists recommend removing wisdom teeth before you’re 20, as it’s easier to remove them while the roots and bones of your teeth are smoother and not entirely developed.
The bones around your teeth grow and get tough as you get older. This makes cleaning of the teeth more difficult. And if you wait until you’re older to get them removed, it can take you longer to recover.
How Wisdom Teeth are Removed
The process should usually be explained to you prior to the operation, and you will be asked to sign a consent document.
Typically, you can get a local anaesthetic injection to numb the region surrounding the tooth. Just before the tooth is extracted, you’ll feel some pressure because the oral surgeon will try to enlarge the tooth socket by moving the tooth to and fro.
Often a small cut in the gum is required, and the tooth may need to be broken into smaller pieces before removal.
Removal of a wisdom tooth takes anywhere from a few minutes to 50 minutes, or occasionally even more.
You may have swelling and discomfort, both inside and outside of your mouth after your wisdom teeth have been removed. A slight bruise is also evident from time to time. Usually this is worse for the first 3 days, but may last for as long as 2 weeks.
When your Wisdom Teeth Can Stay
There are times when wisdom teeth come in almost perfectly and the extraction is not immediately necessary.
Yet it is hard to take good care of wisdom teeth. With a toothbrush they are hard to reach and flossing requires a near energetic approach.
Because of this, the dentist can also recommend removing them, if only to reduce the possibility of further problems down the road.
The loss of wisdom teeth is extremely normal and at some stage in their lives, most people have theirs removed.
The easiest way to monitor the growth of wisdom teeth is to keep daily appointments with your dentist. Keeping a close eye on how your wisdom teeth erupt can mean a faster treatment schedule and easier removal.