Of all the teeth that you can potentially experience problems with, wisdom teeth are arguably the most common. But why is this and what can be done to overcome the issues? Here is what you need to know about problems with your wisdom teeth and the options you have to resolve them.
Wisdom teeth are almost certainly the last adult teeth to erupt. We don’t have them at all when we are children. Instead, they tend to make their way through the gums and out into the mouth during the mid to late teenage years, right through until your 20s. Every patient is different and therefore, exactly when your wisdom teeth will erupt can vary. We each have four wisdom teeth – one in each corner of the mouth, found right at the back of each arch. It is their late arrival into the mouth that usually triggers the onset of problems. this is because often, by the time they start to erupt, there isn’t sufficient space at the back of the arch to accommodate them. When wisdom teeth don’t have enough space to erupt and come through, they are referred to as being impacted.
Impacted wisdom teeth can cause a variety of problems including:
Bacteria is more likely to become trapped around the impacted wisdom tooth because it is difficult to clean. This makes impacted wisdom teeth more likely to become decayed or infected.
If your wisdom tooth becomes infected, it can be very painful and debilitating, and you may need antibiotics and/or painkillers.
Any sort of dental infection can lead to periodontal disease. This is where the gum tissue becomes infected and inflamed. The bacteria around the affected tooth can enter the bloodstream and travel to other parts of your body, including your major organs. In fact, periodontal disease has been shown to be a common factor amongst patients with chronic health problems including heart disease, high blood pressure, and diabetes.
Wisdom teeth can damage healthy neighboring teeth if they end up pushing up against them and putting them under pressure.
It is possible for fluid-filled cysts or tumors to form around the bottom of impacted wisdom teeth, and these can trigger damage in the nearby teeth, nerves in the mouth and jaw and damage to the bone itself.
Wisdom teeth may come through crooked or twisted. This can cause an issue with the way that your teeth come together (your bite) as well as putting them at enhanced risk of developing cavities and gum disease as crooked/twisted teeth are harder to clean.
If you are experiencing problems with your wisdom teeth, you are very likely to be recommended to undergo extraction. You may even be recommended to undergo extraction if we feel that you are at high risk of developing problems. We can manage perfectly well without our wisdom teeth and so extraction has no impact on our ability to use our mouths day today. Often the earlier wisdom teeth are removed, the easier it is. This is because the root will have not have completely developed, nor will the bone around the teeth be as dense.
Wisdom teeth extractions are usually done under local anesthetic, although sedation may be available if needed. In some cases, if we believe that the extraction may be difficult, you may be recommended to have a general anesthetic. An incision is made around the impacted tooth so that it can be removed. It may be necessary for some of the bone around the wisdom tooth to be removed so that the tooth can be removed.
You will be given specific instructions to follow regarding caring for your mouth after wisdom tooth extraction and following these precisely will reduce your risk of experiencing any complications.
If you are experiencing problems with your wisdom teeth and would like the advice and support of an experienced and professional dental surgery team, we would be delighted to help. Schedule a visit to our Brooklyn, New York oral and maxillofacial surgery offices today by calling (718) 808-9922.