Most people know only a few things about wisdom teeth: that they are often removed, and when they are taken out you get to eat ice cream and milkshakes. However, there is a lot more to your wisdom teeth:
- Wisdom teeth got their nickname from the age when they typically come in. Wisdom teeth are actually called third molars. They come in around the age of 17-25, a time also referred to as the “age of wisdom”.
- Some people are born without them. 35% of the population is born without wisdom teeth.
- Nine out of ten people have at least one impacted wisdom tooth. When there isn’t enough room for a tooth to fully enter the mouth, it is called “impacted.” If left it can damage nearby teeth, become infected, and make it difficult to reach and clean that area of the mouth and gums.
- Most have to be removed. An estimated 85% of wisdom teeth eventually need to be removed.
- Diet and dental work may be responsible for impacted wisdom teeth. Early humans had more wear on their teeth due to a tough diet. This damage caused teeth to drift, creating room for the third molars. In the 21st century, diets are easier on teeth, and there is often not room for wisdom teeth
At Comfort Dental Centre Buderim it is the last three items on that list that we care most about – we are here to ensure the health of your wisdom teeth, all your teeth, your entire mouth, and your overall health.
What Can Go Wrong with Wisdom Teeth
You may have a problem if any of the following occur:
- Your wisdom teeth can only emerge partway due to lack of space. This can cause of gum tissue to grow over them. The flap can trap food and cause gum infection.
- Wisdom teeth come in crooked or rotated in the wrong direction.
- Your jaw isn’t large enough to give them room. Your wisdom teeth may get stuck (impacted) in your jaw and not be able to break through your gums.
- They are so far back in your mouth or crowded that you have trouble cleaning around them.
- A cyst may form.
These problems can lead to the following symptoms:
- Pain or jaw stiffness near the tooth or in adjacent areas.
- An infected swelling in the flap of gum tissue that has formed on top of an impacted tooth.
- Tooth decay or gum disease if there isn’t enough room to properly clean the area.
Of course, wisdom teeth are also subject to the general issues all teeth have and these can be treated with good oral hygiene, regular visits to your Comfort Dental Centre dentist, and dental sealants to protect their fissures from cavities.
Wisdom Tooth Extraction
Before removing a wisdom tooth you will receive a local anaesthetic to numb the area. A general anaesthetic may be necessary, especially if several or all of your wisdom teeth will be extracted simultaneously. Your dentist will probably recommend that you don’t eat or drink after midnight on the night before surgery.
To remove the wisdom tooth, your dentist will open up the gum tissue over the tooth and take out any bone covering the tooth. The tissue connecting the tooth and bone will be separated and the tooth will be removed. Sometimes your dentist will break you tooth into smaller pieces to make it easier to remove.
After the tooth is removed, you may need stitches. Some stitches dissolve over time and some have to be removed after a few days. Your dentist will tell you whether your stitches need to be removed. A folded cotton gauze pad placed over the wound will help stop the bleeding.
After wisdom tooth surgery you may be asked to bite down on a patch of gauze to control post-operative bleeding. In addition an ice pack applied to the sides of your face for the first 48 hours can minimize swelling. Your surgeon may prescribe medication to help ease discomfort. Dietary recommendations include drinking clear liquids and eating a soft diet. Gentle cleansing of the mouth can begin the next day. Tobacco, alcohol, and vigorous rinsing or exercise should be avoided!
Your Buderim Dentist Cares
Comfort Dental Centre Buderim provides expert care for healthy, beautiful smiles. Call our Buderim dental office to schedule a teeth whitening consultation or second opinion visit. We serve patients from Buderim and surrounding areas with top-notch dentistry.
We are conveniently located on Wises Road near the Sunshine Motorway with convenient parking and we are open six days a week!