Impacted wisdom teeth?

Our teeth come through in 3 stages. The first when we are just babies of a few months old. These teeth are then gradually replaced between the ages of about 7-12 years old. But this is not the only stage. Round about the age of 17 to 25, you can expect another set of 4 teeth to show up, at the very back of your mouth.

Wisdom Teeth in Harley StreetThese are your wisdom teeth and they are so-called because they come through when you are older and, hopefully, a bit wiser. Mother Nature put them there to give you extra chewing power, back in the days when we needed to chew a lot of raw food to get our nutrition.

Now though, it’s common for these wisdom teeth to not come through, or to get stuck and become what we call impacted. This means they have jammed themselves up against the tooth in front.

If your wisdom never start to come through, you can probably just ignore them, buried beneath your gums doing no one any harm. But if they are impacted, they can start to cause some serious problems and you may need to have them extracted.

Problems caused by wisdom teeth

If your teeth are coming through at an angle against other teeth, you can develop cysts around the roots of the teeth. These can damage the nerves and bone of your jaw, as well as the tooth in front of the wisdom tooth.

Extraction

Generally speaking, at Harley Street Dental Clinic in Harley Street, we perform tooth removal using a local anaesthetic to numb the pain. If you are anxious about the procedure, we can give you oral or intravenous sedation.

Afterwards, you will have a hole in your jaw where the tooth used to be. It will have a soft clot of blood on it. The mouth is too wet for a proper scab to form. You will need to be careful not to remove this clot with food or tooth brushing, for a few days while the jawbone heals underneath it. You can also take over-the-counter painkillers for the first little while after surgery. It will take a few weeks for your jaw to heal completely.

Your last teeth

If you have been getting pain at the back of your teeth and you are in your late teens or older, then it could be your wisdom teeth trying to come through.

Your wisdom teeth are the last teeth to arrive in your mouth. They are the third and last set of molars and generally don’t show up until you are around 20 and know a bit about life. That’s why we call them wisdom teeth in Harley Street.

Wisdom Teeth in Harley StreetThere can be quite a few things that can go wrong when your wisdom teeth come through and this can require intervention from your dentist at Harley Street Dental Clinic. Let’s take a look at a few of them:

Misalignment

If your teeth come through wonky in some way, we may have to remove them. They may even try to come through into the roots of the adjacent tooth.

Impaction

This is when the wisdom tooth either doesn’t come through at all, or, only partly erupts. There can still be a flap of gum over the tooth and food can get under it and it can become infected. The best thing to do is to remove the tooth.

Symptoms to watch out for

Symptoms associated with wisdom tooth problems include:

  • Bad breath and taste in the mouth
  • Pain and difficulty opening the mouth
  • Ear ache
  • Pain, swelling, swollen gums or ulcers
  • Swollen glands.

Even if your wisdom teeth make it through your gums fairly uneventfully, there’s no guarantee there won’t be problems later. This is because wisdom teeth are right at the back of the mouth and they can be difficult to clean.

Throughout your life, you will need to keep an eye out for:

  • Infection of the gum around the tooth, known as pericoronitis. This can be severe, causing pain and swelling and we often have to remove the tooth;
  • Tooth decay, either in the wisdom tooth or the one in front. This may even lead to an abscess if the decay gets into the nerve;
  • Cysts around the tooth. All teeth are in a sack, and this can expand like a balloon to create a cyst. This isn’t very common, fortunately.

Wisdom Tooth Extraction

Wisdom teeth are the last teeth to appear in our mouths, often not coming through until the late teenage years. Because of this, they can often fail to erupt properly, causing or potentially causing pain, discomfort and oral health problems. For that reason, wisdom tooth extraction is one of the most common oral surgery procedures.

wisdom tooth extractionNobody likes the idea of tooth extraction. However, in some cases it becomes necessary and if you need a wisdom tooth removed you can rest assured that at Harley Street Dental Clinic you will receive expert care from experienced oral surgeons.

But why do wisdom teeth need to be removed? Because they erupt late, wisdom teeth have a tendency to become impacted. They may prove hard to clean, increasing the chances of developing tooth decay or gum disease. Because they develop internally, cysts may form around wisdom teeth, potentially damaging the jawbone and surrounding teeth.

At Harley Street Dental Clinic we have a fully-equipped theatre for tooth extractions and other maxillofacial surgical procedures, such as treating bone fractures, placing dental implants and carrying out certain orthodontic procedures. Wisdom tooth removal may be carried out under local anaesthetic or sedation, depending on each patient’s wants and needs.

It’s important to prepare for wisdom tooth extraction, and to talk to us if you experience dental anxiety, so that we can plan your treatment accordingly. You will also need to prepare for careful post-surgical care, following the advice your surgeon gives you.

Pain or discomfort after surgery can usually be managed by over-the-counter painkillers, although if you find these don’t help do not take more than the stated dose – instead, contact us so that we can help you. We recommend that you follow a liquid diet immediately after surgery, and use cold treats such as ice cream to help with gum swelling. Overconsumption may lead to sharp pains, however, so please take care.