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.
These 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.
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.