The wisdom teeth are the last teeth to erupt for an adult, and most people have 4 wisdom teeth, 2 at the top and 2 at the bottom, and should these molars not be able to erupt correctly, this is called “impacted”, and generally, impacted wisdom teeth must be removed by the dentist. Wisdom teeth usually erupt between the ages of 17-25, and they are known as the third set of molars, which very often do not have the space to erupt fully, which causes them to be impacted.
Sometimes, there are no symptoms with impacted wisdom teeth, but for the majority of people, the following symptoms could be evident:
- Swollen Gums
- Swelling Around the Jaw
- Bad Breath
- Difficulty Closing the Jaw
- An Unpleasant Taste in the Mouth
Should you experience any of the above symptoms, make an appointment with a dental clinic in Sydney, where the dentist can examine you.
The main reason for impacted wisdom teeth is lack of space, and as they are the very last teeth to erupt, it is common that there is insufficient room for the teeth to fully erupt. There are occasions where the wisdom teeth cannot erupt at all and do not break through the gums, while other people might experience partially impacted wisdom teeth.
The Removal Process
The only way to relieve the impacted teeth is to have them surgically removed, and in most cases, this can be done using a local anaesthetic, when the dentist will make an incision into the gums and then remove the teeth. You might experience bleeding for a couple of days, as the gums take time to heal, but generally, there are no more issues once the impacted teeth are removed. If, on the other hand, the impacted teeth are not removed, this could cause serious infection, as the impacted teeth grow into the gums, which can be very painful.
By taking x-rays of the jaw, the dentist can clearly see how the wisdom teeth are impacted, which might be one of the following:
- Full Bony Impacted – This is the most difficult impaction to remove, as the tooth has not erupted at all, and has not broken through the gums.
- Partial Bony Impacted – This involves the removal of a tooth that has partially erupted.
- Soft Tissue Impaction – This is when the tooth is just under the surface of the gum, and it is easier for the dentist to remove.
- Fully Erupted Wisdom Tooth – The wisdom tooth has erupted, but does not have adequate space to grow, and must therefore be removed. This is the easiest type of wisdom tooth removal, as the tooth in question is completely visible, and with a little incision in the gums, the impacted tooth should be easy to remove.
According to research, approximately 85% of adults have to have their wisdom teeth removed, and should you experience any of the above symptoms, you should make an appointment to see your local dentist. The longer you leave it, the more difficult the removal process will be, and with prompt treatment, your other teeth will be able to grow without being restricted.