Wisdom teeth are also known as the third molars. They are the last molar teeth to develop which usually grow at the very back of the upper and lower jaw bones, one at each back ‘corner’ of the mouth.
They usually appear when people are aged between 18 and 25 years old; Often, they erupt into the mouth uneventfully and everything is fine. Frequently however, wisdom teeth erupt only partly or they don’t erupt at all. They are then called ‘impacted’ and they are usually a cause of many problems that makes it necessary for them to be removed.
When a wisdom tooth is impacted and tries to erupt into the mouth, the flap of gum on top of it can become infected and swollen. This can be very very sore! You might even feel pain in nearby teeth, or in the ear on that side of your face. This condition can lead to an infection known as ‘pericoronitis’. If left untreated, severe infections may sometimes require a hospital stay and surgery.
Quite often, these can be very straightforward and can take just a few minutes to remove.
Many lower wisdom teeth can’t be removed like other teeth. They are stuck (impacted) beneath the gum, either partially or completely, and can be lying at a different angle to the neighbouring tooth. A minor surgical procedure is usually required to remove these.
Quite often, wisdom teeth can be removed using Local Anaesthetic with or without intravenous sedation. In some cases, a general anaesthetic may be used, especially if more than one or all of the wisdom teeth will be removed at the same time. A general anesthetic prevents pain in the whole body and will cause you to sleep through the procedure.
Troublesome wisdom teeth can present in the following ways:
Impacted wisdom teeth can become cavitated. Additionally, an impacted wisdom tooth can push on the neighboring molar which can lead to tooth movement, decay and gum disease. Rarely, impacted teeth can cause cysts or other growths in the jaw.
If your impacted wisdom teeth aren’t causing you problems, it’s sometime best to hold onto them and avoid the risks of surgery. Sometimes, as your wisdom teeth come through, your gums may feel sore or tender for a while. This is quite normal, and isn’t usually a reason for having them removed.
If you do need to have one or two of your wisdom teeth removed, it doesn’t mean that you need to have them all taken out. To conclude, we recommend that you discuss your particular case with your dentist who will be happy to advise you on the best course of action for your wisdom teeth.
If you have any queries please contact us at the Mullane Dental Practice, Newcastle West, Co. Limerick. Alternatively, if you would like to book an appointment/consultation with one of our dentists, please use our booking form below.