The Woes of Wisdom Teeth

What are wisdom teeth?

Wisdom teeth are the last molars to appear in your mouth. They erupt at the very back of your mouth and for some can cause misery and distress.  The eruption age is usually between 17 and 25 years old although they have been known to erupt much later.

Why can wisdom teeth hurt?

Adults have up to 32 teeth.  Everyone has different size mouths – some small and some very big and it is not always possible to fit all these teeth in.  On average an adult has 28 teeth which is usually manageable so when wisdom teeth start to erupt it can put pressure on the other teeth as it is trying to find space to come through.

Not all wisdom teeth cause problems, its depends on how much space is available on eruption.  You may experience slight discomfort when the tooth is coming through but this should disappear once it is in position.

When there is no space for a wisdom tooth to come through, it can get stuck behind the tooth in front.  It shifts to an angle and become what is known as impacted.  It can then push against the teeth causing jaw ache and pain.  You may also notice that your existing teeth start to move.  Your dentist may advise having the impacted teeth removed.

Another problem associated with these teeth is Periocoronitis.  This is when only part of the tooth has erupted and the other half is still covered by the gum.  Food and bacteria can become trapped under the gum causing it to become sore and inflamed.  Treatment for this may include a special mouthwash and possibly antibiotics.  Although only a temporary problem it can reoccur quite often.

What can I do to help with discomfort?

Anti inflammatory tablets are a saviour when having pain with wisdom teeth but should only be taken for a short period of time.  Any continued discomfort should be checked by your dentist.  Also warm salt water mouth rinses several times a day will help soothe soreness associated with the gums.

What else can I do?

If you are in a great deal of discomfort and are finding it hard to open your mouth see your dentist as soon as possible.  They can assess the situation and advise you accordingly.  Although its always advisable to try and save teeth it is not always possible.  Wisdom teeth are usually removed and depending on how and where they are coming through it may be that you need to be referred to hospital for this.  Lower wisdom teeth are usually the teeth that can be difficult to extract due to the nerve that runs along your lower jaw.

Blue Sky dental has the facilities to remove these wisdom teeth safely and quickly.  Our Oral Surgeons carry out this kind of treatment on a daily basis and regularly receive referrals from other dentists so you can be assured you are in safe hands.


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