Wisdom teeth come through later in life compared to other adult teeth, which can lead to complications. Your dentist may recommend their removal if there is a lack of room in the mouth of if the teeth come through at the wrong angle. Fortunately, wisdom teeth removal is a common procedure and nothing to be concerned about.
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Wisdom teeth erupt usually between the ages of 17 and 25, often causing discomfort when they do so. This may be due to a lack of room or teeth coming through at an odd angle. Misaligned or partially erupted wisdom teeth can also lead to recurring infections and damage to the surrounding teeth and jaw.
The wisdom teeth removal procedure is very common. In most cases, our experienced dentists can remove problematic wisdom teeth at the clinic. Certain cases may be referred to a specialist to ensure the best result and your comfort.
What are wisdom teeth?
Wisdom teeth, also referred to as third molars, reside in the back corners of your mouth. They usually erupt around the ages of 17 to 25, well after other adult teeth. They get their name because a person is usually at the end of high school or enrolled in uni when they come through, a time in life when they gain much wisdom (supposedly!).
Why should I have my wisdom teeth removed?
Lack of room in the mouth
Coming through at an odd angle
Partially erupted (causing infection)
Wisdom teeth complications
Wisdom tooth pain occurs if there isn’t enough room in the mouth or they come through at an odd angle. Partially erupted wisdom teeth can also cause recurring infections and damage the surrounding jaw and gums.
Complications can include:
Tooth pain: Pain in the back of the mouth often heralds the eruption of wisdom teeth. It can be intermittent and mild, lingering for a few days before subsiding. This may happen on and off for a few weeks or even years. If the pain causes talking and eating to become difficult, please book in to see your dentist. The pain can be caused by the wisdom teeth pressing against nerves in the mouth.
Redness and swelling: Swelling and redness in the gums at the back of the mouth can signal erupting wisdom teeth.
Shifting teeth: Wisdom teeth are bullies. If there’s not enough room in the mouth, they’ll erupt anyway and push other teeth out of their way, causing misaligned and crooked teeth. Your dentist may recommend their removal ahead of time if it appears that there won’t be room in your mouth to accommodate them.
Impacted tooth: On occasion, wisdom teeth can be prevented from erupting by the jaw or other teeth, and become trapped beneath the gum line. This can cause pain and will need to be seen to by your dentist.
X-rays will reveal any issues with impacted teeth ahead of time. In this case, your dentist will advise their removal before they cause problems.
Oral infections: As your wisdom teeth break through the gum, bacteria can become trapped and cause infection. Signs of this include:
Tenderness in your jaw
A foul taste
Cavities: If food becomes trapped around your erupting back molars, cavities can form. They can also form in the teeth in front of your third molars if there isn’t adequate room to brush and floss properly. Always be sure to brush and floss thoroughly around the areas of your erupting wisdom teeth.
How are they removed?
The removal of wisdom teeth is a common procedure, and most often performed by one of our dentists at the clinic.
Occasionally, more complicated cases are referred to a specialist to ensure the best outcome and comfort. For your convenience, a specialist visits our clinic on occasion.
We understand that any dental procedure can be a stressful prospect for some people. If you’d prefer to have your wisdom teeth removed while asleep, we can assist in arranging this.
Should wisdom teeth be removed if they aren’t causing problems?
If wisdom teeth aren’t causing any pain or discomfort, they can simply be monitored at your twice yearly dental check-ups. During these general appointments, we can check if they’re erupting and likely to cause issues down the track.
Due to the fact that wisdom teeth tend to erupt when you’re sitting high school exams or attending university, it can be wise to have them removed ahead of time to prevent them being an unwanted distraction when you are trying to study.
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