As they are better known, our third molars, or wisdom teeth, provide a fantastic illustration of how humans have evolved over the millennia. Years ago, our ancestors had larger jaws and needed more robust teeth. Today, we have neither the need nor space for those extra teeth. Yet, for most of us, they still develop.
If you are experiencing the soreness and discomfort of impacted wisdom teeth, you will be more interested in what can be done about it than in the anthropology lesson. At Glow Dental, help is at hand. We deal with impacted wisdom teeth all the time, and the solution is unlikely to be as tricky or invasive as you might think.
Unpredictable Wisdom Teeth Eruptions
Our teeth develop in different stages as we grow. The very last stage of teeth development is the eruption of the third molars. Typically, this occurs in the late teens or early 20s, but it can be later. For some people, the eruption goes smoothly, and there is no more discomfort than when teething as an infant.
However, due to how the shape of the face has evolved, it is common for the third molars to grow at an angle or even horizontally, meaning they become impacted against neighbouring teeth and do not erupt in line.
Signs of Wisdom Teeth Trouble
Sometimes, the wisdom teeth remain buried in the jaw and do not erupt. In these cases, they give no discomfort and can be left as they are. However, what is more, common is for the wisdom teeth to partially erupt, impacting against the neighbouring teeth and irritating the gums.
This includes pain that can radiate from the jaw to the ear and tender or swollen gums. You might also find it difficult to open your mouth wide or experience an unpleasant “clicking” sensation when you try to do so.
Treating Impacted Wisdom Teeth
Your dentist at Glow Dental will quickly be able to diagnose impacted wisdom teeth by performing a full examination, asking you some questions and taking x-rays. We do not need third molars with our 21st-century eating habits, so if they give you trouble or are likely to do so, the best solution is to have them extracted.
Removing wisdom teeth is a routine procedure at Glow Dental and is nothing to worry about. As with any other extraction, you will be anaesthetised so you won’t feel a thing, and we will do all we can to keep any discomfort or soreness after the procedure to a minimum.
Common Questions in Impacted Wisdom Teeth
That depends on whether they are causing you discomfort or likely to do so. If you still have your wisdom teeth, we can monitor their position during your regular check-ups. If they are not causing discomfort and are unlikely to become impacted, we will recommend leaving them alone.
Wisdom teeth usually erupt when you are between the ages of 17 and 25. Sometimes, however, they come later. In some people, one or more of the wisdom teeth never appear, and about two per cent of people do not have wisdom teeth at all – a sure sign that we are still evolving!
This varies from one person to another depending on how the wisdom tooth is erupting, whether it impacts other teeth and what effect it is having on your jaw and gums. The pain from wisdom teeth can be quite intense, though, and often feels as if it is coming from your jaw or the back of the mouth. It is usually quite different from the sort of pain associated with conventional toothache.
That is often easier said than done, as painful wisdom teeth can severely impact your life, making it difficult to eat and even to speak. If your wisdom tooth is left untreated, things will only get worse, and the wisdom tooth might cause more damage to other teeth or trigger an infection in the gums. The sooner you seek advice and treatment from your dentist, the faster the pain and discomfort can be eliminated.
No, when we extract your wisdom teeth at Glow Dental, the area will be numbed using a local anaesthetic, so the process is painless. You will probably experience some soreness for a few days following the procedure, but this is no worse than after any extraction and can easily be treated with over-the-counter pain medication.