Wisdom teeth, also known as third molars, are the last teeth at the back of your mouth which usually start to erupt during your late teens and early twenties; although in some cases they stay beneath your gums and do not become visible in the mouth. If there is insufficient room in your mouth for the proper eruption of wisdom teeth, or if they emerge at an inappropriate angle, they can cause numerous problems including persistent infection which often leads to pain and swelling. If you are experiencing pain or discomfort related to your back molars it is prudent to seek early professional advice. At Henry Street Dental Care, we will inspect your wisdom teeth to determine if they can be treated or whether they should be removed.
Why You Need Wisdom Tooth Removal?
The most common reason why wisdom teeth need to be removed is that they are “impacted” which means they cannot erupt properly and have become stuck against another tooth or the jaw bone. Impaction of wisdom teeth can cause:
- Impacted wisdom teeth often harbour aggressive disease-causing bacteria which can cause the surrounding gums to become infected and inflamed. Patients may notice painful and ‘puffy’ gums, limited mouth opening, difficulty swallowing, and unpleasant breath odour or taste.
- Tenderness on adjacent teeth. The pressure from the impacted wisdom tooth can push the tooth in front and make it sore.
- The pressure caused can also lead nearby teeth being pushed out of alignment. Although this movement caused has been shown to be very minimal.
- Erosion cavity. Constant pushing over a long period of time can also lead to the breakdown of the adjacent tooth. The damage is often serious and requires the removal of both teeth.
- Food collection. Food debris can pack between impacted wisdom teeth and the tooth in front and become very difficult to keep clean. This can promote decay on both teeth.
- Upper wisdom teeth can grow out into the cheek and the constant rubbing can lead to painful cheek ulcers.
Although treatments such as antiseptic mouthwashes and oral antibiotics can help, this is often only a temporary solution. For painfully impacted wisdom teeth, the best and most commonly recommended treatment is the extraction of these molars. The removal of third molars has been performed safely and reliably for many people for many years and carries minimal risks to the patient.
What Does the Procedure Involve?
A consultation will allow us to assess whether the wisdom teeth problem can be treated with or without its removal. This often depends on the tooth position and degree of impaction. Acute symptoms can often be controlled with antiseptics and antibiotics before a long term plan can be recommended.
Wisdom teeth can often be removed easily in the office under a local anaesthetic with minimal risks and side effects. However, due to the position and shape of some wisdom teeth, these ‘difficult’ teeth may need to be referred to an oral and maxillofacial surgeon who might suggest the treatment be done under a general anaesthetic.
The decision to have wisdom teeth removed is ultimately up to the patient to decide. Here at Henry Street Dental Care, we are committed to delivering excellent patient care which involves working with our patients to meet their needs and wants. If you have any questions or concern about your wisdom tooth removal you can call and talk to our experts today.