Wisdom Tooth- Wise or Unwise to Retain

Wisdom Tooth

What Are Wisdom Teeth?

Wisdom teeth also know as the third molars, grow in at the back of the mouth, behind your molars. They are 4 in number, one each in 4 rear corners of the mouth. They tend to grow between the ages of 17-25. Wisdom teeth often grow in crooked, sideways, or otherwise misaligned. As they grow in, they can push on other teeth, causing problems of overcrowding and misalignment for them as well.

Wisdom Teeth – Function And Purpose

Anthropologists believe that we have wisdom teeth due to early humans eating a tough diet which tended to shift the teeth around, allowing room for the third molars to grow. These days, our diet is much softer, and we have new methods for keeping teeth straight and in line (such as braces) which don’t allow room for the extra teeth to grow.

Essentially, our mouths can hold 28 teeth, but including wisdom teeth, we have about 32 teeth all vying for space. Wisdom teeth symptoms such as overcrowding, bone and nerve damage, infection, etc. can all result.

In 2008, Japanese researchers discovered that wisdom teeth contain stem cells which can be saved to potentially be used if stem cells are needed later in life.

Signs Of Wisdom Teeth Pain

Wisdom tooth can be seen in two presentations- erupted or impacted.  If it is completely erupted, should not cause much of a problem unless carious. Partially erupted 3rd molars mostly cause Pericoronitis. It is a condition where the flap/tissue overlying the wisdom tooth is red and inflamed, thus causing trouble. (some thing similar to teething seen in young children.)

Impacted teeth are those which stay under the bone, however they are the most notorious of the lot. An impacted tooth can push on the neighbouring molar. This can lead to tooth movement, decay or gum disease. It also can change the way your teeth come together. Rarely, impacted teeth can cause cysts or other growths in the

Wisdom Teeth Symptoms

  • Swelling of the gum in the back of your mouth
  • Difficulty opening your jaw
  • Bad breath
  • A bad taste in the mouth
  • Pain when you open your mouth
  • Pain when chewing or biting
  • Some people, however, don’t have any visible symptoms of wisdom teeth pain.

Wisdom teeth pain can be constant for some people, while other people only experience pain and discomfort when chewing food or touching the area. Most dental professionals advise that wisdom teeth should be removed before wisdom teeth pain becomes an issue.

Oral pain can also have a number of other causes. They can include tooth decay, fracture or abscess, a broken or damaged filling, nightly teeth grinding, and gum infection. No matter what the cause though, you should still see your dentist when you experience oral pain.

Diagnosis

Your dentist will examine the area. If necessary, he or she will take X-rays. X-rays can show where your wisdom teeth are and if they are impacted.

What Helps Wisdom Teeth Pain?

The most common treatment for wisdom teeth symptoms is Extraction of the teeth. The procedure is commonly done at a dentist’s office under local anaesthesia.

If your wisdom teeth have already erupted through the surface of the gums, they can be removed relatively easily as if they were any other tooth.

Impacted wisdom teeth can be a little more complicated to remove, however. An incision is made through the surface of the gum above the tooth. After that, any bone covering the tooth needs to be removed. Then the tooth itself is extracted followed by sutures/stiches. Sometimes, your dentist will need to cut the tooth into several pieces to salvage as much bone as possible and avoid unnecessarily cutting bone or risking nerves and delicate tissues.

Wisdom teeth extraction is a common procedure and is likely the best solution to relieve your wisdom teeth symptoms.

What To Expect After Surgery

In most cases, the recovery period lasts only a few days. Take painkillers as prescribed by your dentist. The following tips will help speed your recovery.

  • Bite gently on the gauze pad periodically, and change pads as they become soaked with blood. Call your dentist if you still have bleeding 24 hours after your surgery.
  • While your mouth is numb, be careful not to bite the inside of your cheek or lip, or your tongue.
  • Do not lie flat. This may prolong bleeding. Prop up your head with pillows.
  • Try using an ice pack on the outside of your cheek. Apply for 15 to 20 minutes at a time for the first 24 hours. You can use moist heat-such as a washcloth soaked in warm water and wrung out-for the following 2 or 3 days.
  • Relax after surgery. Physical activity may increase bleeding.
  • Eat soft foods and bland food, gradually add solid foods to your diet as healing progresses.
  • Do not use a straw for the first few days. Sucking on a straw can loosen the blood clot and delay healing.
  • 24 hours after treatment, gently rinse your mouth with warm salt water several times a day to reduce swelling and relieve pain. You can make your own salt water by mixing 1 tsp (5 g) of salt in a medium-sized glass  (240 mL) of warm water. Do not rinse hard. This can loosen the blood clot and delay healing.
  • Do not smoke for at least 24 hours after your surgery. The sucking motion can loosen the clot and delay healing. Also, smoking decreases the blood supply and can bring germs and contaminants to the surgery area.
  • Avoid rubbing the area with your tongue or touching it with your fingers.
  • Continue to brush your teeth and tongue carefully.

Your dentist will remove the stitches after a few days, if needed.

Prevention

There is no way to prevent an impacted tooth. You can prevent cavities by brushing and flossing.

When To Call a Professional

Call your dentist if you feel pain in your back teeth. If you visit your dentist regularly, he or she will keep track of your wisdom teeth and let you know if you need to have them taken out. Your dentist may take extra X-rays to check your wisdom teeth. Routine X-rays often don’t show these teeth.

Narnoly’s Complete Dental Care being the best dental clinic in Ranchi has the most efficient team of Oral Surgeon, Pedodontist, Orthodontist, Periodontist, Prosthodontist and Endodontist on board.

Sources:

  1. http://www.aaoms.org
  2. http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/wisdom-teeth/basics/symptoms/con-20026676
  3.  <http://www.colgate.com/en/us/oc/oral-health/conditions/wisdom-teeth/article/impacted-tooth
  4.  <https://crest.com/en-us/oral-care-topics/general-oral-hygiene/wisdom-teeth-pain-function-signs-symptoms
  5. <http://www.webmd.com/oral-health/wisdom-tooth-extraction>

 

 

4 thoughts on “Wisdom Tooth- Wise or Unwise to Retain”

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