Nearly 5 million US citizens have had their wisdom teeth taken out, combining in an annual cost of $3 billion.

You’re probably one of the folks who has undergone this common procedure. If so, a dentist more than likely pulled your wisdom teeth due to the fact that they were disrupting the condition of the rest of your teeth. Our wisdom teeth are the last of our adult teeth to erupt, and they are usually extracted during our teens and early twenties. Some patients’ wisdom teeth emerge without any complications or difficulties. For others, dental problems and painful symptoms go along with the development of these teeth.

A wisdom tooth can be partially or fully impacted. A partially impacted wisdom tooth means that only a portion of the crown is visible, and a fully impacted wisdom tooth means that it has struggled to appear through the patient’s gums. Also, wisdom teeth don’t always grow in straight. They have been known to grow in backward, upside down, or at an angle.

Problems Brought About By Wisdom Teeth

Third molars, also known as impacted wisdom teeth, rupture at the back of the mouth and fail to grow normally because there is no room for them to develop. There are some cases where the third molars do not cause any irritation or ache; however, since these teeth are more difficult to clean, they tend to be more vulnerable to gum disease and tooth decay compared to the other parts of the teeth. Oral surgeons will always extract impacted wisdom teeth that are resulting in issues for the patient, and they will also suggest removing the wisdom teeth that aren’t currently causing pain under the precaution that there will be problems in the future.

What kind of pain is associated with impacted wisdom teeth? Here’s an outline of some symptoms you might suffer from:

▪ Painful gums that swell or bleed
▪ Pain and swelling at the jaw
▪ Problem opening up the mouth
▪ Bad breath

When wisdom teeth grow in, they can cause more damage to the surrounding teeth. Orthodontic treatment might be required if the incoming wisdom teeth move the other molars forward, causing what is called overcrowding. There is a chance of developing a tumor in the mouth– though it is uncommon– and this occurs because the wisdom tooth can develop in a fluid-filled sac inside the jawbone, causing a cyst to form. If this arises, the oral surgeon could have to take out the neighboring tissue and bone. As stated previously, wisdom teeth are difficult to clean because they reside in the back of the mouth. Along with tooth decay, patients are also at risk of developing an inflammatory gum problem referred to as pericoronitis for these exact reasons.

A Fundamental Operation

The majority of the time, the oral surgeon will get rid of all four wisdom teeth at once, but they might decide to do a few teeth at a time depending upon their or the patient’s decision. The patient will undergo general anesthesia to minimize the amount of irritation they might experience during the process. Depending on the number of teeth that are being taken out, this process can last anywhere from one to several hours. Some of the most common negative side effects of wisdom teeth removal are swelling and bleeding at the surgery site. These may be managed at home with gauze and ice packs, but if these side effects remain, it is wise to talk to the performing surgeon.

Controversy

A few people say that removing wisdom teeth is unneeded and is surely a way for dentists to charge enormous amounts of money to their patients. Jay W. Friedman, DDS, MPH, has published an article elaborating on this position and the misconceptions that go along with the eruption of wisdom teeth in young patients. Needless to say, the option to go forward with wisdom teeth removal or to decide against it is essentially up to the patient. Nevertheless, we recommend that our patients make an educated diagnosis of their pain and discomfort and to talk to our team at Milford Dental Excellence for information and direction when it pertains to diagnosing the intensity of impaction.

To schedule an appointment with us, you can call us at (513)815-3664 or you can schedule online.