Impacted wisdom teeth are quite common and when you partner with Lotus Smiles Dental you can look forward to a gentle procedure to relieve you of your discomfort. We offer wisdom tooth removals in Sunbury and look forward to welcoming you to our practice.
What Are Impacted Wisdom Teeth?
Wisdom teeth are impacted when they are prevented from emerging fully from the gum. Your wisdom teeth are your third and final set of molars, and they usually only erupt in the early 20s. For most patients this occurs between the ages of 17 and 25.
Because wisdom teeth are a set of back-up teeth, most of us don’t actually need them. By the time they arrive, most patients don’t have enough room in their jaws to accommodate them, and they can start to present with problems.
If you start to feel pain or discomfort at the back of your jaws, behind your molars, you should visit your dentist to check up on your wisdom teeth. Problems with wisdom teeth are usually characterised by pain, swelling and tenderness.
This is because impacted wisdom teeth are notoriously difficult to keep clean. Problems with dental hygiene can quickly turn into gum infections and decay – especially if the wisdom teeth have only emerged partially from your gum.
What Are The Symptoms?
It’s quite common for wisdom teeth not to present with symptoms at all, and issues may only show up in a dental x-ray. But in some patients one or more of the following symptoms may also present:
- Swollen, bleeding or tender gums
- Pain and swelling in the jaw
- Bad breath and a bad taste in your mouth
What Happens When The Jaw Is Too Crowded?
For most people the jaw is too small to fit all the adult teeth plus the wisdom teeth. This can cause your wisdom teeth to impact in different ways
- Growing straight but stay in the jawbone
- Grow at an angle but impact on the adjacent molar
- Grow at an angle facing the back of your mouth
- Grow perpendicular to your other teeth (lying horizontally)
At Lotus Smiles Dental we have the experience to assist you with complex wisdom tooth removals.
What Can Impacted Wisdom Teeth Cause?
This is why impacted wisdom teeth should be removed:
Avoid damage to your other teeth
Impacted wisdom teeth can cause damage to your other teeth if they are not removed. Of course if your wisdom teeth do not present with problems, there is no reason to remove them. Pressure on the other teeth can cause damage, and if left untreated, it may require orthodontic treatment in order to correct.
Avoid cyst formation
Impacted wisdom teeth may form cysts that can cause damage to the nerves, teeth and jaw.
Dental decay and gum disease
Wisdom teeth that are impacted are more susceptible to tooth decay because they are difficult to access when brushing and flossing. Over time this can develop into more serious stages of gum disease if it is not treated.
How To Avoid The Complications Caused By Impacted Wisdom Teeth
We do not have any control over how the wisdom teeth grow, but what we can control is our dental hygiene when they emerge. Regular (six monthly) visits to your dentist will ensure a professional eye is kept on the emergence of the wisdom teeth.
Before they erupt your dental professional will take x-rays and should have a good idea of how they will emerge. In some cases it is possible to remove the wisdom teeth before they start to present with problems. This is a much less complex and affordable endeavour than dealing with the problems later on.
What If I Have To Have My Wisdom Teeth Extracted?
You are not alone – many people remove their wisdom teeth because of the problems that may cause. The procedure is usually done as an outpatient procedure and most patients can drive themselves home afterwards.
Once your dentist has injected the area with anaesthetic, he or she may need to make an incision into your gum and remove some bone before the wisdom tooth can be extracted. Then the incision will be closed up and the site will be covered with a piece of gauze. You can bite down onto the gauze to curb the bleeding. Your mouth can take up to six months to heal from the extraction, but you should start feeling better just three days afterwards.
If you need to have your wisdom teeth extracted, we would love to help you. Please call our practice for a convenient appointment: (03) 8737 9359.