Adults can have a maximum of 32 teeth. The wisdom teeth, or third molars, are the last to come through, right at the back of the mouth. They usually appear between the ages of 17 and 25. Sometimes they even appear later on in life, or at times, they simply never try to erupt.
Before your wisdom teeth start coming out, you will have 28 teeth, which is often what we have room for in the jaw. This means that when and if your wisdom teeth protrude, you might encounter a number of issues. This lack of space will lead to discomfort, pain and sometimes even infections in extreme cases. That is when a wisdom tooth extraction should be performed.
When are wisdom teeth extracted?
- 1. When it's clear that they will not be able to come through into a proper position. This is mainly due to the fact that there wouldn't be enough room for them. Causing pressure, pain and even discomfort to one's jaws and gums.
- 2. Sometimes wisdom teeth can only come out partly, or at an angle. They might be decayed or causing decay to the tooth in front of them as it is difficult to clean them thoroughly as your other teeth.
What is an impacted wisdom tooth?
If there is not enough room to erupt, the wisdom tooth may try to come through but will get stuck against the tooth in front of it.
Do wisdom teeth always cause problems?
No, if there is enough room, your wisdom teeth will erupt at the same level as the rest of your teeth. This will not cause any decay to the tooth adjacent to them. Even though having your wisdom tooth come out can cause discomfort, it will not present you with pain. The discomfort and pain caused by healthy growing wisdom teeth will only be temporary and will vanish as soon as the tooth is fully positioned.
What problems should I be prepared for?
If part of the wisdom tooth has appeared through the gum and part of it still covered, the gum may become sore and swollen. Food particles and bacteria can collect under the gum's edge, and it will be difficult to clean effectively. This is known as pericoronitis. It can present people with difficult access to regular oral hygiene and may even inflame the soft tissues surrounding your wisdom teeth. This can also cause tooth decay.
This is a temporary problem that can be dealt with using mouthwashes and special cleaning methods and possibly antibiotics. If the problem keeps coming back, it may be better to have the tooth removed.
Will it make any difference to my face or mouth?
Taking wisdom teeth out may cause some swelling for a few days. But as soon as the area is healed, there will be no difference to your face or appearance. Your mouth will feel more comfortable and less crowded, especially if the teeth were impacted.
What should I expect after a wisdom tooth is taken out?
The amount of discomfort will depend on how easy it was to take the tooth out. There is usually some swelling and discomfort for a few days afterward, and it is important to follow any advice you get about mouthwashes and so on, to help with the healing.
Some people also find that homeopathic remedies help to reduce discomfort. Painkillers, such as paracetamol, aspirin or ibuprofen will help you deal with any pain. It is best to stay fairly quiet and relaxed for 24 hours after the extraction in order to make sure there is no bleeding. Smoking is also prohibited during this period, as it may cause needless complications or infections. There may be some stitches to help the gum heal over. We will probably want to see you again about a week later to check on the healing and to remove any stitches.