A patient walks in a dental clinic and his/her complaints are as follows; “Doc my Wisdom teeth (back,last molar teeth) have been growing for the last couple of years since after high school, now they keep causing me terrible pain and swelling every now and then. What should i do?”
Well! This is fairly a common question asked frequently in whatever forum.
Smile Avenue Specialist Dental Center wishes to discuss salient features associated with your “Wisdom teeth” or third molars.
WHICH ONES ARE WISDOM TEETH AND WHY ‘WISDOM’?
Wisdom teeth are the last /3rd teeth/Molars that start erupting at around 17 – 21 years of age. They have been called wisdom teeth because their eruption is associated with “adulthood”.
They are famous for causing a lot of discomfort and even pain during eruption.
SO WHY WOULD THEY GIVE ME SO MUCH DISCOMFORT?
Wisdom teeth can fail to reach the “normal” position in the mouth. We call these teeth impacted teeth. They can be present in the mouth but facing the wrong direction, sideways or backwards. They can be partly hidden under the gums, or they can even be completely buried in gums or jaw bones.
We expect a wisdom tooth to have erupted well around age 22. Beyond that it is unlikely to move, unless some other tooth has been lost, thereby creating space for movement of the impacted tooth.
WHAT OTHER PROBLEMS CAN IMPACTED TEETH CAUSE?
A malpositioned tooth hinders proper oral hygiene and is likely to promote food packing in areas where cleaning is just difficult. This build up promotes development of several dental problems, including:
1. Bad Breath
2. Gum disease and Periodontal disease
3. Caries(decay) on the impacted tooth and the neighboring tooth
Impacted teeth are also associated with other conditions such as cysts and growths which can cause excruciating pain.
Also equally important is the fact that they can actually exist without causing any particular problems!
TAKE HOME MESSAGE
You should monitor your teeth regularly, clean them thoroughly but not over-zealously, you may risk eroding the enamel. If you suspect any issues from your wisdom teeth get professional help. The dentist will do the necessary investigations and help determine the next step to treat the discomfort.Treatment options may include surgical extraction under local anaesthesia or surgically removing the swollen piece of flesh (operculum) covering the tooth.
Visit your dentist after every 6 months for regular check up and cleaning before any unexpected problems/discomforts arise.