Troublesome wisdom teeth should be removed as soon as possible before the problems get worse.
Extracting teeth is a last resort in modern dentistry and usually only occurs as a result of chronic disease or trauma. However, one clear exception to this is the removal of wisdom teeth.
Wisdom teeth usually don’t ‘erupt’ through the gums until we’re teenagers or in our twenties. They are usually the last teeth to come into our mouth. The majority of us have four wisdom teeth. Quite often, there is little space at the rear of the jaw for wisdom teeth to come easily through the gums. If the jaw does not have enough room for the wisdom tooth to come through, the tooth will become wedged or impacted. Some impacted wisdom teeth remain buried and cause no trouble. However, other impacted wisdom teeth may cause severe problems.
Removal of a wisdom tooth is a common procedure and troublesome wisdom teeth should be removed as soon as possible before the problems get worse. An impacted wisdom tooth will start to push through the gum and an infection can start around the top of the tooth. Infection and inflammation can cause pain, swelling and jaw stiffness. Swallowing may be painful and the infection can cause bad breath.
When a decision is made to proceed with wisdom teeth removal, it is best to have them removed while you are young. In young people, the roots are not fully formed and the surrounding bone is softer. This often allows for easier wisdom teeth removal which means less post-operative pain and faster healing. Early wisdom teeth removal is also recommended for the following reasons:
- To avoid further and more complicated impactions
- To reduce the chance of infection from a partially erupted wisdom tooth
- To remove any food traps created by a partially erupted wisdom tooth
- To prevent harm to adjacent teeth
- To avoid the formation of cysts
- To reduce potential crowding and optimise orthodontic treatment by lessening the effects of pushing and crowding on remaining teeth as the wisdom teeth try to move forward or erupt.
- To remove or prevent problems like pain, swelling and/or infection associated with eruption/partial eruption of wisdom teeth.
Wisdom teeth that are left for a ‘wait and see approach’ can be harder to remove at a later date and can result in a slower and more painful healing phase.
Contact us to have your wisdom teeth assessed.