Wisdom teeth refer to the third set of molars at the back of your mouth. Normally, they show up during the late teens, early twenties, or even later.
Most individuals have four wisdom teeth – two on either jaw. Some miss out on one or two, whereas some may not have even one. As wisdom teeth grow after the permanent teeth, there isn’t sufficient space in the new teeth’ jaws. As the jaws lack enough room, these teeth end up getting crammed or impacted.
Impacted wisdom teeth are prone to infection, decay, and other dental issues. Some impacted wisdom teeth cause acute problems, whereas some stay buried with no issues. Pursue on to find out more about impacted wisdom teeth and how it affects you.
Is It Necessary To Remove Impacted Wisdom Teeth?
Some dentists in Mandurah advise that if the impacted wisdom teeth do not cause any problems, it’s better to leave them alone. Simultaneously, some persist in removing the impacted wisdom teeth completely to avoid problems in the future.
As impacted wisdom teeth come out of the gums later, the lack of space causes the teeth to erupt partially or at an angle. At times, it may result in damaging the other teeth and causing acute pain. You may also encounter crowding of the impaction teeth with the existing teeth, where your dentist suggests removing them using surgical procedures.
If it lies buried without causing any issues and you have no plans of removing it, it’s advisable to monitor them constantly for potential dental concerns. Visit your dentist regularly and floss your impacted wisdom teeth daily.
What Happens If You Don’t Remove Impacted Wisdom Teeth?
Not all impacted wisdom teeth result in dental problems. But, once infected, it can damage the other teeth and promote further issues such as:
- Jaw pain and swelling.
- Tooth decay.
- Swollen or red gums.
- Bleeding or tender gums.
- Unpleasant taste in the mouth.
- Extreme difficulty in opening the mouth.
- Bad breath.
- Damage to the other teeth.
Impacted wisdom teeth create gum flaps between the teeth, which becomes a thriving ground for cavities and gum diseases. As flossing and usual brushing do not reach the far end of your mouth, these dental issues can get more complicated. To avoid such problems, some dentists advise removing the impacted wisdom teeth, even if they do not cause any symptoms.
How Do You Know If Your Wisdom Tooth Is Impacted?
Your wisdom teeth get impacted when sufficient space is not present in your gums for the teeth to develop and come out naturally. Usually, wisdom teeth erupt between the late teens and early 20s. For some individuals, wisdom teeth come out without causing any issues. In some cases, the mouth becomes too crowded for the third set of molars to grow normally. Overcrowding results in the wisdom teeth getting trapped or impacted.
Impacted wisdom teeth can be either partially impacted – where a portion of the crown is visible or fully impacted – where the teeth never emerge through the gums. This results in tooth conditions like:
- Mesio-angular impactions: Having an angular growth towards the second molar or next tooth.
- Disto-angular impactions: Having an angular growth to the back of your mouth.
- Horizontal impactions: Growing at right angles to the adjacent tooth.
- Upright or normal vertical impactions: Growing up straight but remains trapped inside the jawbone.
What Happens If You Wait Too Long To Get Wisdom Teeth Out?
Wisdom teeth generally grow in areas where it’s difficult to clean them easily. This increases the risk of gum disease and tooth decay. If your wisdom teeth have become infected, you may have to undergo wisdom tooth extraction.
The removal of wisdom teeth is much easier for individuals below 30, as their bones are more flexible. In some cases, if the impacted wisdom teeth do not cause issues, you need not worry about removing them. However, infected impacted wisdom teeth may result in serious complications if they are kept for too long. This includes:
- Chronic discomfort in the mouth.
- Formation of plaque between the gums and teeth.
- Infection of the gums and tooth.
- Damage to the adjacent tooth.
- Misalignment of the entire teeth structure.
- Jaw stiffness.
- Bruising, swelling, and bleeding.
- Sinus problems.
- And even nerve damages in certain acute cases.
Is An Impacted Wisdom Tooth An Emergency?
As for the decision, whether you need to pull out your impacted wisdom teeth or not depends mainly on two factors. Is it causing any problem now, or is there a higher probability that it will cause future issues? It would be best if you found answers to these questions before proceeding with the impacted wisdom teeth extraction procedure.
The removal of the impacted wisdom teeth becomes an emergency when it hinders the other teeth’ proper development. It can also raise concerns when it gets infected and causes chronic pain in the jawbone. At times, all it takes is a small incision of the gums to remove the wisdom tooth. Consult with your dentist to figure out the treatment plan that you require for your specific case.
How Painful Is An Impacted Wisdom Tooth?
Impacted wisdom teeth, when infected or damaged, may result in bruises, pain, and swelling. Some patients may experience acute pain on the jawbones, making it difficult for them to fully open their mouth. This may hinder their basic daily routines, which include eating, talking, and so on.
Those patients who might be planning to get rid of their impacted wisdom teeth will have to take anesthetics to suppress the pain. Most patients opt for either general anesthetics or local anesthetics to undergo the impacted wisdom teeth extraction procedure.
Based on the patient’s choice, the dentist will ensure that the specific spot is entirely numb before starting the surgery. To reduce pain further, some doctors also use lots of numbing gels.
How Much Does It Cost To Remove Impacted Wisdom Tooth?
Your Mandurah dentist will provide you with an estimation of the total cost for the entire tooth extraction treatment during the time of consultation. Extraction charges differ based on how difficult it is to remove the impacted wisdom teeth, the duration of the treatment, and the number of teeth you need to remove. Extra fees may incur if any additional treatment becomes necessary.
The final cost may differ from the original estimated cost – as the outcome and procedures may alter during the treatment. It’s advisable to discuss the costs before starting the treatment to ensure it stays within your budget capacity. Some clinics also provide their patients with an interest-free payment option.
What Problems Can Impacted Wisdom Teeth Cause?
In some individuals, when their impacted wisdom teeth come out, it causes certain discomfort. Here are some of the problems you may encounter with your impacted wisdom teeth.
When not extracted, the impacted wisdom teeth forms of fluid sac inside the jawbone. This sac displaces the tooth and causes massive damage to the teeth, jawbones, and even the nerves. Though cyst formations are quite common, in rare situations, it may develop into a non-cancerous tumour. This may end up in the removal of bone and tissue from that region.
When the impacted wisdom tooth pushes against the adjacent molars, it results in a relatively rare resorption cavity. This causes serious damages to both the teeth, resulting in the development of abscesses and further infection.
When the impacted wisdom teeth push sideways, it rubs against the cheek, resulting in ulcer formation. This may cause excruciating pain that can even result in headaches.
Cleaning wisdom teeth is quite tricky; the partially erupted impacted wisdom teeth result in an inflammatory gum disease known as pericoronitis. This causes acute pain in that region.
What To Expect After The Removal?
Most patients get back to their routine within a few days after the surgery. It may take around six weeks for your jawbone to heal completely. You may have to resort to consuming soft or liquid foods during the initial week, as you will find it hard to open your mouth entirely.
Complications may arise in certain cases after the surgery, which includes:
- Slight nerve damage of the chin, tongue, and lower lip.
- The lower jawbone tends to become weak.
- As a result of trapped food, infection of the gums and tooth promotes the growth of bacteria.
- Bone exposure or dry tooth socket.
- Damage of the sinus near the upper wisdom teeth region.
Do’s And Don’ts After The Removal Of Impacted Wisdom Tooth
Post-surgical complications may differ for each patient. Here are some pointers you need to know for a speedy recovery.
- Consume soft foods.
- Avoid brushing your teeth against blood clots.
- Use an ice pack to reduce swelling.
- Drink lots of liquids.
- Exercise your chin and jaws by gently opening and closing them.
- Take the prescribed medications to ease the pain.
- If fever or pain persists, contact your dentist immediately.
- Avoid rinsing your mouth harshly.
- Avoid smoking.
- Avoid eating sticky or hard food.
Post-surgery you may encounter slight swelling, bleeding, and pain. To manage the discomfort, your dentist might provide you with painkillers and cold compresses. In case of any complications post-surgery, patients must contact their dentists immediately.