Wisdom teeth are the last set of teeth in the back of the mouth to emerge. These are also known as molars. They typically start showing during your early to late teenage years. Some people can develop any number of wisdom teeth or none at all. Though on average, most people only have two or four.
Most pain from wisdom teeth is usually from them not fully pushing through the gum line. They end up becoming impacted. If left untreated or removed, they can cause swelling, pain, infection, headaches, and much more.
Wisdom teeth are the least necessary of all teeth, and their emergence can lead to a whole host of problems, such as:
- Pain or Tenderness: For some patients, they can teeth start to have pain in the jaw, other neighboring teeth. This pain can cause mild to severe headaches.
- Overcrowding: As your last molars start to come in, they will try to find a way to fit amongst your other teeth. This can cause overcrowding in the mouth and force existing teeth to shift or move.
- Sinus problems: As they develop and grow, the roots of upper wisdom teeth can put pressure on the sinuses. This can cause headaches, congestion, or sinusitis.
- Pericoronitis: Your new teeth can loosen the gums around the base of your other teeth. This allows food to become trapped in between them. It may cause pain, facial swelling, infection or more. You may also have difficulty eating food or closing your mouth. Some people may develop a fever or loose their appetite.
- Gum disease: Very problematic wisdom teeth can cause infections that increase the risk of gum disease. This can lead to enamel deterioration. The molar creating the problem and others around it may require extraction in severe cases. If left untreated, the infection can spread to the rest of the body resulting in serious medical complications over time.
- Oral Cysts: This is when sacs, next to the new teeth, fill with fluid. They start to develop into cysts that cause damage to the soft tissue, roots and bone.
Removing Wisdom Teeth
You should always reach out to a dental professional for more information on procedures. That being said, the ideal age for wisdom teeth removal is between 18 and 24. This is before roots finish forming for the new teeth. Extraction for people over 24 years of age increases the surgical difficulty.
The removal process is either a preventive measure or performed to correct other complications caused by your teeth as they grow. Wisdom teeth that have fully come in can be easily removed by pulling them out. Teeth that are impacted or misaligned with the other teeth often require the removal of each tooth, typically by making an incision in the gum and drilling the bone for extraction.
Impacted wisdom teeth are very common. Depending on the difficulty level of the procedure, these teeth can be removed. This generally involves a local anesthetic with possible sedation.
Recovery time varies from patient to patient. It is also very depending on the complexity of the procedure, the type of anesthesia, and the damage the teeth have caused. Most patients recover quickly and within a week from wisdom tooth extraction. Be aware that it will take months for the wound site to heal completely. This healing should not affect your everyday activities except the cautions mentioned above immediately after the surgery. However, it is essential to pay attention to any signs of trouble and see your oral surgeon if needed.
Contact our staff at Dr.Drake DDS for more information about your wisdom teeth.