Usually, teeth erupt when you are a baby, and then the previous ones make space for the new ones as you grow. But when you are an adult, a new pair of teeth erupt at the back of your mouth. These teeth are called wisdom teeth. An average person has four wisdom teeth -two on the top and two on the bottom line. So, if you wonder if they have anything to do with wisdom, no, they don’t.

What Is The Purpose Of Wisdom Teeth?

There is no need for wisdom teeth in your mouth. You can chew properly until your adult years, even without them. So, why do wisdom teeth grow? Because at the time of evolution, men were used to everything they could get their hands on. It included some very hard foods as well. Presently, your diet includes only softer and civil food, which molars can easily chew. The answer is, you can do without wisdom teeth.

What Are Wisdom Teeth Symptoms?

If you suspect that your wisdom teeth are coming, look for these symptoms-

  • You can feel pain in the back of your mouth where the tooth is trying to make some space. It increases as the tooth grows.
  • When the tooth breaks through the gum, a fever can be expected.
  • You can feel sharp pain while chewing with your molars.
  • A pericoronal flap in the area of the tooth can be seen. It causes intense pain.
  • The other symptoms are-
    • Bleeding
    • Swelling gums
    • Bad breath
    • Dry Mouth
    • Pain in jaw
    • Bad taste in your mouth
    • Difficulty opening the mouth
    • Redness/ tenderness
    • Sores in mouth
  • An X-ray can also confirm if you are having all these symptoms due to a wisdom tooth eruption.

What If Something Is Wrong?

If there is only a hint of pain, then you can ignore it. But if you feel intense pain and continuous swelling in your gum, a visit to the dentist is a must. The problems are caused when the teeth do not have enough space to erupt. The signs that something is wrong or you have an infection can be confirmed by-

  • Tooth sensitivity
  • Loose teeth
  • Cracked tooth
  • Tooth pain
  • Dry mouth
  • Sores
  • Bleeding or swelling gums

What Is An Impacted Wisdom Tooth?

If your molars are in a crowded space, they may not give enough room for the new tooth to erupt. This new tooth pushes, and if it doesn’t succeed, it results in an impacted wisdom tooth. If things don’t go as per the plan, it causes pain, bleeding, swelling, sores, and several other kinds of problems in your mouth. An impacted tooth can grow in the direction of the neighboring molar or in the direction of the back of the mouth.

If a crown of the wisdom tooth breaks through the gum partially, it is called a partially impacted tooth. If it doesn’t erupt at all and get trapped in the gum, it is called a wholly impacted tooth.

What Problems Can Be Created By An Impacted Tooth?

When these teeth do not find proper spaces to grow, they cause problems. When the pericoronal flap opens, the open tissues may catch an infection. If the wisdom tooth grows in the direction of the molar, it can damage the tooth and even bones. These gums can also develop cysts which may result In severe damage to the teeth.

If you have a partially impacted tooth, the bacteria find it even easier to attack. An infection in an open gum is normal. However, if the problem persists, it can also result in pericoronitis.

As these teeth are hard to clean because brushing causes intense pain, they are more likely to cause tooth decay.  

What Is The Solution To The Impacted Teeth Problem?

Whether your wisdom tooth is problematic or not, whether it is impacted or not, it is wise to get it extracted. If you have the above symptoms, book a doctor’s appointment first thing. If your wisdom tooth grows normally, it is good. If it causes any problem, extraction is the only way.

It is easy to remove a wisdom tooth if it has already erupted. If it is stuck, the dentist takes an X-ray to know the exact position of the tooth. Then the tooth is removed without causing any damage to the bone if it is in the way. Sometimes, the tooth is broken into pieces to save as much bone as possible.

Visit your dentist, understand your situation before and after complications, and then take the decision of extraction.

What is the Ideal Age For Wisdom Teeth To Show Up?

They normally make their first appearance between the ages of 17 and 22. It is wise to make a decision about the wisdom teeth as soon as possible. As you get older, wisdom teeth surgery becomes difficult.

Final Words

Your body always tells you about any changes or problems. Your mouth tells you that a new member is erupting. If it causes any problem, visiting the dentist is the best thing to do. Reread it, learn about your wisdom teeth, its symptoms, and get early treatment.

Published by Dr. Daniel Bronsky

Dr. Daniel is an orthodontist at Invis London.

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