Has your wisdom teeth started to cause pain? It is probably time to have them checked. There are a few reasons why your molars might be hurting, and the majority of those cases indicate that wisdom teeth removal is needed. Wisdom teeth, also known as third molars, can cause several problems – especially if they are stuck inside the jaw or become impacted.
Most people have these teeth removed because they do not have room to grow. As there is a shortage of space, it might impact or shift other teeth. No matter the reason, wisdom teeth only cause tooth pain when there is something wrong.
Wisdom teeth are the third set of molars that develop in your late teens or early twenties. These are considered to be a valuable asset as they complete your 32 sets of teeth. There are no issues as long as they are healthy and properly aligned. But most often, they are misaligned and might require tooth removal.
How Do You Know If You Have Wisdom Teeth?
You should know the anatomy of your teeth and the position of your third molar. When you visit your dentist, they might take an X-ray to examine the problem. Your teeth’s X-ray will be taken periodically to evaluate the exact alignment and position of your teeth. Depending on which your dentist will decide the best treatment plan.
Historically, they are called wisdom teeth. This is probably because they come at a more mature age. These four wisdom teeth can help you chew even better. It is normal to feel slight discomfort when they start to appear. When they erupt in an awkward position, they can interfere with your normal bite. As a result, they place undue stress on your jaw’s muscles and joints. Chances are you might have pain, and it is advisable to visit your dentist to check for any issues.
Your dentist might also refer you to an oral surgeon for further detailed evaluation. Your dentist or oral surgeon might recommend that your teeth be extracted even before it starts giving problems. This is often done to avoid a more painful extraction procedure later on.
It is probably done to avoid more complicated extraction that might arise a few months later.
It is important to note that the tooth removal process is easier in young people as their wisdom teeth roots are not yet fully developed, and the adjoining bones are less dense. In older people or adults, as usual, recovery and healing time always tend to be longer.
Wisdom Teeth and Dental Problems
The major problem seen with these teeth is the alignment issue. When these teeth grow, they are misaligned due to lack of space. At times they might position themselves horizontally. Or they might be angled towards or away from the second molars. Any of these above conditions might lead to poor alignment of your wisdom teeth.
At times your third molar might be crowded or might damage your adjacent jawbone, other molars or even your nerves. Most jaws are developed by the time you reach 18 years? But your wisdom teeth emerge when you are 19 years old. Most problems caused by these teeth is because of the fact that they do not have enough space to grow.
Your wisdom teeth also can be impacted. This means the teeth are enclosed within the soft tissue of your jawbone. In some cases, the tooth might only partially break through or erupt through your gum, causing intolerable pain.
Partial eruptions could be very painful and they allow an opening for bacteria to enter through the area. This could lead to an infection, which could result in pain, swelling, jaw stiffness, and other problems.
If you have partially erupted teeth, you could be more prone to tooth cavity, tooth decay and other gum diseases. This is because their molars are hard to reach, making brushing and flossing extremely difficult.
Wisdom Teeth Treatment
Do you know that one of the most common treatments for wisdom teeth symptoms is the extraction of the teeth? Wisdom tooth extraction is often done at your dentist’s or oral surgeon’s office. The procedure is generally done under local or general anesthesia. Your dentist will discuss all complications before the extraction procedure.
In case your third molar has erupted through the surface of the gums, your dentist can remove them relatively easily as if they were any other tooth. If you have an impacted wisdom tooth, it could be a little more complicated to remove.
An incision is made through the surface of the gum just above the wisdom tooth. After that, your dentist will remove any bone covering your tooth. Then the tooth itself is extracted. Sometimes, your surgeon or dentist will need to cut the tooth into several pieces to save as much bone as possible. This is also done to avoid unnecessary cutting bone or risking delicate tissues and nerves in the area.
Wisdom teeth extraction is a common procedure these days. Your dentist might recommend it as the best solution to relieve your wisdom teeth symptoms. Your dentist or oral surgeons are more likely to recommend different procedures for treating wisdom teeth problems.
What Could Happen If You Don’t Remove Your Wisdom Teeth?
Your third molars can cause several problems if they are stuck in your gum or only a partial portion comes outside the gum. Although you might complain of pain, complications associated with wisdom teeth might not cause any obvious symptoms initially. They are often silent and slowly progressive. But when the symptoms finally manifest – serious damage has already been done.
The related complications are good reasons to discuss with your dentist and have your problematic wisdom teeth extracted before they can affect your oral or general health.
- The most common complaint is pain. Pain often indicates the presence of infection. You might feel pain or soreness in the whole area – your jaw, throat, ear or on the side of your face.
- Your infected teeth might cause the bacteria to spread throughout the body. This in turn would affect your organ systems and overall health. This is dangerous if you have weakened immune systems.
- Another common complication could be – cleaning the partially erupted teeth. A buildup of food particles and dental plaque on the unclean teeth might cause gum infection. If left untreated, bone destruction might follow in the long run.
- These teeth are more prone to tooth decay because of their position in the back of the mouth.
- Infected teeth might significantly contribute to the decay of surrounding teeth.
- Pressure from erupting teeth might cause your tooth to shift, thus damaging neighboring teeth.
- A jaw cyst might develop as it is often related to the crown of an impacted wisdom tooth. If it is not treated, a cyst can destroy the bone around it.
- Pericoronitis might also develop. It is an infection associated with the flap of gum tissue that covers your erupting wisdom tooth. Resulting in pain when you bite onto the inflamed tissue.
Wisdom Teeth Removal Procedure
1 Why are wisdom teeth generally removed?
Do you know that the human jaw has become smaller over time? One reason is the progress in evolution. There are theories to prove that as the human brain grew bigger in size over time, the jaw slowly got smaller to accommodate for space.
In addition, over thousands of years, our diet and dental needs have also changed. Smaller jaws have led to less space, and hence there is not enough space in your mouth for all the teeth. You have four wisdom teeth in total, two on top and two on the bottom. A person can have a number of wisdom teeth from zero to all four. Hence when there are any compilations these teeth are removed.
2 What happens during wisdom teeth removal?
Before your dentist starts with the extraction procedure, the teeth and the surrounding tissue will be numbed using local anesthesia. In addition, your dentist might give sedating medications depending on your condition. If nitrous oxide is given, you might be able to walk and drive yourself home. If any other medication is given, you might require help to drop you home from your clinic.
Below are a few problems associated with wisdom teeth. However, the American Dental Association suggests that removal should be done only if these changes are apparent.
- wisdom teeth growing sideways
- crooked teeth
- crowded teeth
- increased tooth decay
- jaw pain
- cysts in the gum area
Dentists generally will recommend that teenagers should evaluate for wisdom teeth removal surgery. Getting wisdom teeth removed at a young age makes the healing faster. As you age, your roots and bones are fully formed, which could lead to complications. Moreover, there are always risks associated with dental surgery, so you need to decide accordingly.
At times your dentist might recommend wisdom tooth removal before an orthodontic procedure. Some dentists even recommend the removal of wisdom teeth as part of any other treatment.
For instance, before giving teeth braces, your dentist will ensure that wisdom teeth do not erupt later. They will give you clear instructions on how to prepare for surgery and the steps to take after surgery. Before making any final decision, your dentist will examine and take x-rays of your teeth. Then he will discuss the best course of treatment.