Wisdom teeth symptoms and removal
Wisdom teeth normally erupt between 18 and 24 years of age. It is common for wisdom teeth to be impacted, meaning there is no space for them to erupt and it is not common for wisdom teeth to erupt into the right position even if space is available.
The reasons for not having this space are:
- Our soft diets do not cause sufficient wear on our other teeth.
- It is vital to save our other teeth as they have normally erupted into the correct position. So few other teeth are being extracted.
- The lower jaw has not grown enough to accommodate the wisdom teeth.
Wisdom teeth removal
Wisdom teeth can cause problems and often need removal. There are several situations where removal is the best option.
Wisdom teeth infection
When an impacted wisdom tooth starts to push through the gums, an infection can start around the top of the tooth. Infection and inflammation (swollen red gums) can cause pain, swelling and jaw stiffness.
Wisdom teeth crowding
A wisdom tooth may push nearby teeth out of their correct position and may help to cause crowding of front teeth.
Sacks of fluid called cysts can form around the tooth and may displace the tooth. The cysts can destroy bone and damage other teeth and gums.
Damage to nearby molars
An impacted wisdom tooth may keep pushing against the molars next to it. This often leads to a serious damage to both teeth.
Why do I need four wisdom teeth out?
The impacted tooth causing problems needs to be extracted but so does its opposing tooth. This is because teeth keep moving until they hit something. So if only one tooth is extracted then the opposing tooth will keep moving (supererupt) until it hits the gingiva of the extracted tooth, causing problems.
As it supererupts, it also increases its surface area, causing more food and bacteria to accumulate around the tooth. So having the two opposing teeth out at the same time saves the extraction procedure and consequent healing time occurring twice.
The difficulty of the extraction procedure determines whether they can be extracted at the surgery or in a hospital. Your FirstBite dentist can discuss your options with you. It is also important to know the complications associated with the procedure, so please ask.