Noticing jaw pain? This could be due to your wisdom teeth
Located in the upper and lower jaw region, wisdom teeth usually become evident during the period of young adulthood, around the age of 17 years. From the first day of making an appearance, wisdom teeth can often create problems which can become major if left unattended.
What are Wisdom Teeth?
Most people usually have four wisdom teeth, they are the third molars one in each corner of the mouth at the back (some people have more or less. They are called wisdom because the teeth usually don’t erupt until much later in life normally 17 to 25years old.
Why do Wisdom Teeth need to be removed?
There is often not enough space for them to fully come through. They only partially erupt into the mouth or don’t come through at all, but grow directly towards the second molars causing impact.
Why early removal of wisdom teeth?
Depending on the direction of the wisdom teeth, early removal can help to prevent damage of neighbouring teeth as well as causing multiple infections to the bone and soft tissue area.
Early removal is also important if the patient is considering braces in the future. Getting wisdom teeth removed after braces can often affect the overall alignment of the teeth and possibly undo any of the work completed by wearing braces.
What symptoms might I get?
Most patients usually notice that their wisdom teeth have started coming through as the result of jaw pain. Other symptoms include:
- Pain or irritation (including jaw pain)
- Regular headaches
- Sore and inflamed gums
- Bad breath
Wisdom teeth removal procedure
Wisdom teeth removal does not always occur straight after an initial appointment. During the appointment, the dentist can decide whether early removal is required through an x-ray and examination of the projected path of the wisdom teeth. The dentist will also go through what’s involved in the procedure and allow the patient to decide whether the procedure is for them.
If removal is required, the patient will be booked in at a later date. Before the procedure, an anaesthetic will be used to help numb the pain as well as sedation to the patient, if they are feeling anxious.
How do I know if I need Wisdom Tooth Extraction?
During your regular teeth cleaning checkups, we will inspect your wisdom teeth to find any evidence of impaction or misalignment. We’ll also use X-ray technology to get a complete picture of how your wisdom teeth are interacting with the rest of your mouth. We’ll let you know immediately if a wisdom tooth extraction is needed, and how we can help you with this process.
Since you will be under anaesthesia during the procedure, it is recommended by our team that you shouldn’t drive home, and instead have someone come and pick you up. Once the anaesthesia starts to wear away, you may start to feel some pain in the area. Prescribed medication will be given to help relieve some of the pain and swelling post procedure.
Since this procedure involves the removal of your wisdom teeth, a few changes to your daily habits will need to be made. These include:
- Eating soft food (No hard or crunchy foods as they can put too much pressure on the area resulting in an infection or bleeding.
- Use icepacks to help reduce the swelling around the area
- Don’t brush your teeth until the second day
Wisdom Teeth FAQs
In most cases, wisdom teeth usually erupt between the ages of 17 and 25 years old. Most people usually have four wisdom teeth, which are the third molars and are located at the back of the mouth. Some people have more than four wisdom teeth, while others have less. Often, there is not enough space in the mouth for the wisdom teeth to fully come through. In this case, they sometimes only partially erupt or don’t come through the gums at all, which can lead to impaction
After you have been through a wisdom teeth removal procedure, you will need to eat soft foods while your mouth heals. Some of the best options include lukewarm soups and broths; mashed vegetables like potatoes, butternut and pumpkin; mashed bananas; applesauce; ice cream and scrambled eggs. It is best to avoid hard and crunchy foods as these can put too much pressure on the site of surgery and cause unpleasant side effects like bleeding and infection. It is also best to avoid any foods and drinks that are too hot, as these can irritate your mouth while it heals.
No, not everyone has wisdom teeth. Although most people develop wisdom teeth in their late teens or early twenties, not everyone gets them. If you don’t have wisdom teeth, there is no cause for concern. In fact, wisdom teeth do not serve any functional purpose and studies suggest that they are simply a leftover relic from a different time in which humans lived off a rough diet of roots, raw meats and leaves. Your dentist will be able to confirm whether or not you have wisdom teeth and will let you know if a removal procedure is right for you.
How long does wisdom teeth removal take? The process of removing wisdom teeth varies from patient to patient and will depend on a number of factors, including the complexity of the case and how many teeth need to be extracted. That said, the wisdom teeth removal procedure generally takes no more than 45 minutes to an hour to complete. It is important to note that the procedure does not always occur immediately after an initial appointment. Usually, your procedure will be scheduled for a later date following your initial appointment.
Before the procedure begins, your dentist will administer an anaesthetic so that you won’t feel any pain or discomfort. In some cases, your dentist may have to cut through your gums or underlying bone in order to access and remove the teeth. If this is necessary, these incisions will be stitched closed after the teeth have been carefully removed. In most cases, dissolvable stitches are used and your dentist may apply some gauze to prevent bleeding.
Yes. In some cases, wisdom teeth do not erupt and remain hidden within the gums. In this case, the wisdom teeth can become impacted within the jaw, often leading to infection or painful cysts. It is also possible for the wisdom teeth to erupt only partially through the gums, which can cause a range of oral health issues.
Your dentist may recommend a wisdom tooth extraction if they don’t erupt properly or at all. Early removal of wisdom teeth can help to prevent damage to the nearby teeth as well as oral infections that can affect the bone and soft tissues. Early removal is also sometimes recommended in patients who are considering orthodontic treatment in the form of braces at a later stage.