You may have heard about the ironically named wisdom teeth. Unfortunately, when you get your wisdom teeth, you are not suddenly a candidate for MENSA, nor are you going to transform into the fountain of all knowledge. Instead, when you get your wisdom teeth, they are the four molars that grow in the back of your mouth, usually between the ages of 17 and 25; they can also be referred to as third molars. The wisdom is lost even more when you realise that wisdom teeth are not always necessary for chewing and can actually sometimes cause problems.
What are wisdom teeth used for?
Wisdom teeth were once thought to be necessary for chewing, but this is no longer the case because our jaws have become smaller over time, so for many people, there is often not enough room for all four wisdom teeth to come in properly. When this happens, the wisdom teeth can become impacted, which means they get stuck in the bone and cannot erupt properly. Impacted wisdom teeth can be very debilitating because of the pain they cause; they can also lead to infection if the partially erupted tooth gets bacteria into the gums, and this can lead to further complications. You may develop gum disease and damage to other teeth if it is left untreated. You may also experience cysts and tooth decay, none of which should be on your wish list!
How will I know when my wisdom teeth come through?
Wisdom teeth usually start to come in between the ages of 17 and 25. However, it is not uncommon for them to come in later or not at all. Some people are born without wisdom teeth, while others only have one or two. You may first notice your wisdom teeth through a routine dental x-ray, or you may experience discomfort and swelling of the gums at the back of your mouth where they will be situated. You may also have jaw pain and difficulty opening your mouth properly. You might even have bleeding gums and develop bad breath or a bad taste in your mouth.
How do you know whether you need to have your wisdom teeth removed?
If your wisdom teeth are growing properly, there is no need to have them removed. However, if they are impacted or causing problems, your dentist may recommend a dental extraction. Wisdom teeth Gordon can be treated by a professional dentist.
How can a dentist help?
If you are experiencing issues with your wisdom teeth coming through, you will need to find a dentist who can assess your wisdom teeth and determine whether they need to be removed. If your wisdom teeth have to be removed, your dentist will discuss the risks and benefits of having them removed. Wisdom teeth removal is typically a common procedure that is usually performed under local anaesthesia and does not require major surgery. You should be able to have the treatment in the comfort of the dental chair, and if you are in a lot of pain, you could experience significant relief the minute the tooth is removed.
After your wisdom teeth are removed, you will need to follow your dentist’s instructions carefully; this may include taking pain medication, using ice packs, and eating soft foods. You should also avoid smoking and drinking alcohol.
There are a few potential complications that can occur after wisdom teeth extraction, such as bleeding, nerve damage, infection, dry socket, and jaw fractures. However, some of these issues are quite rare, and you can discuss this with your dentist prior to having your wisdom teeth removed. Nevertheless, if you do experience any of these issues, you should return to your dentist for further advice and treatment.
While there is no way to prevent wisdom teeth from coming in, there are ways to minimise the risk of problems. You can do this by getting regular dental checkups, following a good oral hygiene routine, brushing and flossing your teeth twice a day, avoiding hard foods, and getting your wisdom teeth removed if they are impacted or causing problems.
Ultimately, wisdom teeth can be a source of pain and problems for many people. If you are experiencing problems with your wisdom teeth, you must take the time to go and talk to your dentist about your options. They will be able to examine your mouth and may take X-rays to see what is going on. They will then be able to advise what treatment options are available and go through these with you. So, if you have wisdom teeth coming through that don’t feel quite right, do the wise thing and see your dentist.
Any surgical or invasive procedure carries risks. Before proceeding, you should seek a second opinion from an appropriately qualified health practitioner.