What are Wisdom Teeth?
The appearance of wisdom teeth is one of the most natural processes that begins to surface around your early twenties. These teeth are basically a set of molars at the back of your mouth; also known as the third molars because these teeth are the last to appear in the mouth.
As opposed to the common belief, all wisdom teeth do not have to be taken out if they grow out properly. Meaning if your teeth grow in properly where they have enough room and space to properly break through, these teeth are painless and do not need any type of extractions. But there are cases where special dental care is required to extract wisdom teeth that are causing issues to the rest of the teeth or are causing pain.
How Do You Know Your Wisdom Teeth Aren’t Growing Right?
There can be two causes of concern for wisdom teeth. One is that when your wisdom teeth finally grow out, they become misaligned. This may mean that they position themselves horizontally, diagonally or in any other orientation that may cause harm to the adjacent teeth. Poor alignment can not only harm the nearby teeth, but can also badly impact the jawbone or nerves.
Another instance that raises concern is when your wisdom teeth become “impacted”. Impacted Wisdom Teeth means that the teeth are unable to fully break through the gums leaving a partial gap in the gums which leaves the mouth open to bacteria or harmful germs. The reason this can be detrimental is because it acts like an open wound that can cause inflammation, different kinds of infections, jaw stiffness and many other general illnesses. Due to their awkward positioning and or partial eruption, these teeth are more easily prone to tooth decay as they make brushing and flossing significantly harder.
Can Wisdom Teeth be Harmful?
If you are feeling discomfort or pain, it is advisable to seek professional help immediately. Improperly treated wisdom teeth, especially ones that are impacted or are only partially erupted can cause infections along with periodic gum diseases.
In some more serious cases, teeth grown in the wrong orientation or untreated wisdom teeth can lead to the emergence of cysts, tumors or other kinds of pathologies. This is when a cyst or a tumor forms on the base of an impacted tooth that can hollow out the jaw, damage the surrounding nerve and cause serious problems for other areas of the mouth and face.
Therefore, we strongly recommend that if you are feeling any discomfort at all to contact Dr. LaMura if you are in the Cary, NC area. Even if you are worried and not sure if your wisdom teeth are growing the way they should, do not hesitate to contact your Dentist.
What Are the Main Signs That it is Time to Take Out Your Wisdom Teeth?
It is generally a good idea to take out and surgically remove your wisdom teeth if they are painful. They can also sometimes be decayed as it becomes difficult to properly clean them.
If you visit your Dentist, he/she will be able to determine if the positioning of the wisdom teeth are not ideal to grow in. He/she will look for things like if there is not enough room, whether or not the gums will be able to support the new teeth or if it could lead to further pain and discomfort.
Sometimes toothache caused by your wisdom teeth can get so discomforting that it may become difficult to chew or even open your mouth.
How to Treat Wisdom Teeth?
During your visit with the Dentist, they will do an x-ray scan of your mouth to determine the positioning of your teeth. If required, the most common practice is to surgically remove the wisdom teeth, which most Dentists will recommend even before any problems develop. This is just a precautionary measure to avoid more serious and complicated problems down the road.
A wisdom tooth that is fully erupted can be extracted like any other normal tooth, however care will be needed for a partially erupted tooth, or something that is below the gum. In this case the tooth is extracted in small sections to maximize the success rate.
Wisdom teeth extractions are a routine procedure. The upper wisdom teeth are comparatively easier to remove than the lower ones. If required, your Dentist can refer you to a specialist surgeon for the extraction. Extractions are done with a local anesthesia whereas a normal filling would be done with a sedation.
Removing wisdom teeth may cause some swollenness to your mouth afterwards but after the healing process is complete, your mouth will feel better than ever. Your mouth will actually feel lighter and less crowded especially if your teeth were previously impacted.
What To Do After Your Wisdom Teeth Are Taken Out?
The amount of discomfort will solely depend on how easy it was to remove the tooth or teeth. To reduce the swelling and discomfort, it is important to follow your Dentist’s advice which involves taking proper medication and making use of saline mouthwashes. Some painkillers like Ibuprofen will help to reduce the pain. Moreover it is also best to avoid smoking and alcohol consumption in cases of bleeding problems or irritated gums and teeth. Your Dentist will also generally recommend a revisit to monitor the healing cycle as there can be stiches to help the gum heal over.
Hope this article helped you understand the ins and outs of wisdom teeth and how they can affect your oral health. If you have any questions regarding wisdom teeth or your oral hygiene, contact Dr. LaMura in Cary, NC at 919-233-3545.