Here at High Street Dental, we want to make you that bit more knowledgeable when it comes to knowing about your wisdom teeth, and what to do if they should ever start to cause you some problems.
What are wisdom teeth?
Unfortunately, despite the name, wisdom teeth won’t actually make you smarter. They acquired that name because they usually come in when you’re older, typically between the ages of 17 and 21.
They are situated at the very back of your mouth, and are your third and final set of molars. You get two on the top, and two on the bottom. They are the toughest, widest teeth and this makes them the best for grinding your food.
How do I know if I have wisdom teeth?
Usually, it becomes quite obvious when your wisdom teeth are coming in. When they do, you may experience some minor pain or jaw stiffness, and depending on the angle the tooth is coming in at, you may feel it rubbing against your cheek or tongue.
What should I do if they start to cause problems?
Most people experience no problems when their wisdom teeth come in. Sometimes, though, wisdom teeth can cause some pain and discomfort. If this occurs, there are a number of things you can do.
One problem with your wisdom teeth is that they are so far back in your mouth. This means that you are unable to reach them effectively with a normal toothbrush. As a result, tooth decay can arise. To prevent this, it is best to invest in a slim, long-handled toothbrush and brush your wisdom teeth as well you would your normal teeth.
Often, your wisdom teeth can become impacted. Symptoms of this include: red/swollen/bleeding gums, jaw pain, swelling around the jaw, bad breath, or a difficulty opening your mouth. If you have any of these issues, it is best to visit your dentist. If you choose not to, not only will you begin to experience increasing discomfort, but you risk developing gum disease.
As a general rule, your dentist will take regular x-rays of your mouth to catch impacted teeth early before they start to show symptoms. When this happens, surgery to remove your wisdom teeth will be recommended.
How are wisdom teeth removed?
The ease with which your dentist can remove your wisdom teeth depends on their position and stage of development. A wisdom tooth that has come through your gumline can be extracted as any other tooth would be. If it is impacted, an incision into the gum will be necessary, but this is nothing to worry about.