Wisdom Teeth gets its unique name because it appears last. It is the last of the permanent teeth that erupt when a person grows into a young adult, when becoming mature and supposedly attaining wisdom. For some, this teeth comes out smoothly, but for some it turns out problematic. This usually happens when these molars do not have enough space to come out.
Impacted wisdom tooth brings on more dental health concerns. Wisdom teeth cannot erupt and come out freely. Few reasons lead to this – one of the most common reasons that can be noticed is lack of space. As mentioned earlier wisdom teeth appear last, so space is taken up by other teeth. It can also happen when the teeth erupt at a particular angle, this can be straight up or down like normal teeth but can be trapped in the jaw bone.
Examining dental concerns and impacted wisdom teeth
Affecting other teeth –
Lack of space in the mouth when wisdom teeth appear, pushes other teeth from their position. Teeth gets pushed from their original position. Alignment of teeth is lost and infection can set in that area as tissues get bruised. This would require the help of dentists to straighten the teeth and address the issue of overcrowding of teeth. The shape of the face can be changed, speech can be affected and also importantly self-confidence of the person due to crooked teeth.
Dental health –
Closely linked to overcrowded teeth is the issue of dental health. This declines when teeth are affected. When there is overcrowding, it becomes difficult to clean teeth. Food gets trapped between teeth and it even the most rigorous cleaning practices will not be able to clean teeth properly.
Tooth Decay –
Developing cavities and resulting tooth decay is also seen in those having impacted wisdom teeth. Overcrowding and infection can affect oral health. Infection can set in when bacteria acts on unclean teeth. Bacteria release acids which affect the protective dental enamel of teeth. If this goes unchecked, cavities can develop and this will result in decay of the teeth.
Gum Infection –
Impacted teeth do not affect only the teeth, it also affects the gum lining. Infection can also be seen in the gum lining. The gums will be inflamed and red in colour due to infection. Pain can also be felt in the gums. These will work slowly on the gum tissues and affect their function. Proper support for the teeth from the gum tissues will lessen and this can also affect their position in the mouth.
Inflammation and Cysts –
Another crucial dental concern that can be seen with impacted wisdom teeth is painful cysts developing. The wisdom teeth will develop within a sac in the jaw bone. This sac will be filled with fluid and this can affect dental health. Extensive damage can happen to the jawbone, teeth, nerves and gums. Tumour developing from this sac is also a serious complication this will require surgical removal.
Stiffness in Jaw bone –
Jaw bones also get affected when there is an impacted wisdom teeth. Teeth are pushed against each other and move from their position. This puts more pressure on the jaw bone. Stiffness in the jaws, pain and discomfort is felt because of this. Difficulty in opening mouth, chewing and speech can all be affected due to this. Few also have sinus problems due to this. When wisdom tooth is getting ready to erupt it will push against the sinuses. Pain and headache also appear due to this issue.
Teeth ache and difficulty in consuming food is one of the common signs noticed associated with wisdom teeth. It is important that pain experienced is not brushed off as something normal and allow more complications to develop against oral health. Consulting with a dentist at least twice a year on a normal basis is important. Consulting dentists when toothache builds up and affects your day to day functions is essential. Many dental problems can be healed easily if help is sought when they appear.
Treating the problem
Dentists will use different tools and technology to understand the real nature of the problem. X rays and scans are done to get the real picture. It also helps to know if other teeth are affected due to wisdom teeth. Once the dentist determines the course of treatment, this is discussed with the patient and a treatment plan is created.
Problematic wisdom teeth are removed through surgery. This is conducted under local anaesthesia. If the teeth are impacted – stuck in the jaw bone, then the bone needs to be cut and then removed. The teeth will be extracted from its socket. The area of dental surgery is then stitched. Some stitches are self-dissolving ones while some others need to be removed.
Bleeding after surgery will be seen. This is normal, but if it doesn’t stop then there is a need to see the dentist. Benefits of removal wisdom teeth is the cessation of the toothache. Pressure applied to other teeth and jaw bone will be lesser and finally stop. Overcrowding of teeth will not evident and it becomes easy to achieve good oral health.
It is important to follow good dietary habits and also put an end to certain habits like smoking. Smoking will affect the healing process. Reducing spicy food and the use of tobacco immediately after surgery is important to speed up the recovery. Usually complete healing will happen in three to four weeks’ time.
Following regular cleaning practices brushing and flossing is important. If proper care is not given to oral health then tooth decay and infection in gums tissues can develop. The basis of good oral health is cleanliness. Having a discussion with dentists and seeking guidance on proper dental health and maintenance will be helpful.