What do you know about wisdom teeth? One of the things most people know about them is that they don’t appear until your late teens.
You may also be aware that they can cause pain and discomfort.
In this post, we’re going to take you through everything you need to know about wisdom teeth and what to do if they’re causing you trouble.
What are wisdom teeth?
Wisdom teeth are also known as your third molars and tend to appear between the ages of 17 and 21, although not everyone has them.
They’re the final set of molars to appear and you may have any number between one and four.
It’s normal to feel a little discomfort when they come through, just like when you got your first set of teeth when you were a baby!
What kind of issues do wisdom teeth bring?
However, wisdom teeth can cause issues for some people if there isn’t enough space in your jaw or if they come through in the wrong position.
You may also suffer from impacted wisdom teeth. This means they are stuck under your gums or in your jaw.
It’s a good idea to see your dentist for a check-up when your wisdom teeth are coming through. They can monitor them for the following problems:
- When your wisdom teeth are in the wrong position, food may become trapped allowing bacteria to grow. This can lead to tooth decay
- If they don’t erupt properly, it can be difficult to floss between them and their neighbouring teeth
- If your wisdom teeth have only partially erupted, bacteria may enter the gums and cause an infection
- If they don’t have room to come through properly, they may damage nearby teeth
- Impacted wisdom teeth may lead to a cyst which can damage the roots or supporting bone of nearby teeth
Wisdom teeth removal
Your dentist may advise wisdom teeth removal if you have the following problems:
- Gum disease
- A cyst
- Tooth decay
- Damage to surrounding teeth
- Crowding of the teeth in your jaw
What to expect
Your dentist will take an x-ray beforehand to understand where your wisdom teeth are positioned and what impact they have on your surrounding teeth.
You’ll be given a local anaesthetic to numb any pain.
If the wisdom tooth hasn’t erupted, your dentist will make a small cut in the gum and may also remove the bone covering the tooth.
Your dentist will then remove the tooth. Your dentist will use dissolving stitches, which should disappear within seven to 10 days.
Rest assured that wisdom teeth removal is a routine procedure and is usually over in minutes.
Wisdom teeth aftercare
In the 24 hours after your wisdom teeth removal, you will need to avoid:
- Rinsing your mouth
- Drinking alcohol
- Drinking hot liquids
- Strenuous exercise
If you have any swelling, you can apply a cold compress for relief.
After 24 hours, you can rinse your mouth out with antiseptic mouthwash or a solution of salt and warm water.
Your dentist may give you a course of antibiotics to take.
You will have a follow-up appointment around a week later to ensure that your mouth is healing properly.
Come and see us for help with your wisdom teeth
If you’re having trouble with your wisdom teeth, there’s no need to suffer in silence.
Come along and see us here at Opal Dental, your local dentists for Te Atatu and the surrounding areas.
We know how uncomfortable wisdom teeth can be — make an appointment so our friendly experts can advise you on the way forward.
Wisdom teeth assessment and removal is one of our comprehensive range of services to care for you, whatever stage you are at in your dental journey!