Wisdom Tooth Problems
Wisdom teeth, as we call them are the lower and upper third molars, situated at the extreme back of the mouth. They are known as wisdom teeth because usually they first appear when a person is between age 17 and 21 or older old enough to have attained some “wisdom.” Wisdom teeth that are healthy and properly positioned do not cause problems.
Impacted wisdom teeth
Wisdom teeth in some people may break partway through the gums, causing a flap of gum tissue to grow over them where food can accumulate and can result in developing a gum infection. Wisdom teeth may also grow crooked or turn to face the wrong direction. If your jaw is not large enough to give them room, wisdom teeth may become impacted and unable to break through your gums. You may have trouble properly cleaning around wisdom teeth because they are so far in the back of your mouth and may be crowded.
Symptoms of wisdom tooth problems
Wisdom teeth often cause no symptoms. Symptoms that may mean your wisdom teeth need to be removed include:
- Pain or stiffness of jaw near an impacted tooth.
- Pain or irritation from a tooth situated at an awkward angle and brushing against your cheek, tongue, or top or bottom of the mouth.
- An infected swelling in the flap of gum tissue that has formed on top of an impacted tooth that has partially broken through the gum.
- Crowding of other teeth.
- Tooth decay or gum disease if there’s not enough room to properly care for the wisdom tooth and surrounding teeth.
Surgical removal of wisdom teeth
Having wisdom teeth removed is often the only way to permanently relieve painful symptoms. You may have your wisdom teeth removed under local anaesthesia by a dentist or oral surgeon. This means you are awake, but the area around the wisdom tooth is completely numb. Sedative drugs can be given with a local anaesthetic to help you relax during the procedure.