Impacted Wisdom Teeth – How To Deal With It

For many people, impacted wisdom teeth can be a source of pain and discomfort. At Barkly Street Dental Group, our experience sets us apart and we are able to offer patients complex wisdom tooth removals.

Why Some People Have Their Wisdom Teeth Extracted

The adult mouth contains 32 teeth, and many people just do not have the space to accommodate them all. By the time the wisdom teeth erupt (usually between the ages of 17 and 25) all of the adult teeth have arrived and there is a limited amount of space in the jaw.

When there isn’t enough room in the jaw, impacted wisdom teeth can cause pain, swelling, bleeding and dental decay.

What Are Impacted Wisdom Teeth?

Wisdom teeth that do not have the space to emerge fully are called impacted, and they can grow in different ways. They can erupt partially (instead of fully), sideways or at an angle. Because of the space limitations in the jaw, this can have an effect on the other teeth in your mouth.

Wisdom teeth can emerge angled towards the front or back of the mouth. They can also be impacted when they do not erupt from the gum line.  Sometimes a wisdom tooth can emerge horizontally, and be positioned at a 90 degree angle, causing it to grow into the roots of the tooth next to it.

How Do You Know If Your Wisdom Teeth Are Impacted?

The best way to know how your wisdom teeth are emerging is through regular visits to your dentist. During your check-ups your dentist will take x-rays that show where the wisdom teeth are laying and how they are going to emerge.

If you are between visits however, you may experience some symptoms such as bleeding, swelling or discomfort at the back of your mouth. This is because an infection is present, and this is quite common with impacted wisdom teeth because they are more difficult to clean and floss between than teeth that grow straight.

Wisdom teeth that are impacted may also result in bad breath, a bad taste in your mouth and recurrent gum infections.

Of course, if it is clear that your jaw is not too small, or if your wisdom teeth appear to be emerging just fine, there would be no reason to remove them.

What Can Impacted Wisdom Teeth Cause?

Wisdom teeth that are impacted need to be extracted. If they are left untreated, they can cause more complicated problems and make extracting them more challenging. Some complications include

Overcrowding of the mouth

Overcrowding the mouth can cause the other teeth in your mouth to grow crooked. In some cases this may need orthodontic treatment to correct.

Cyst formation

Sometimes, cysts can form in the jawbone. Cysts are filled with fluid and as they get bigger, can cause damage to the teeth, nerves and jaw.

Damage to the adjacent teeth

Impacted wisdom teeth compromise the other teeth in your mouth, especially your molars.

Dealing With Wisdom Tooth Pain

If you suspect your wisdom teeth are presenting with problems and need to be removed, you should contact your dentist as soon as possible. If you need some relief before your consultation, there are some coping mechanisms you can employ to make it more manageable.

Rinse with mouthwash or salt water

Antibacterial mouthwash and salt water can help to reduce swelling and keep your mouth clean between brushing.

Pain medication

If the pain is unbearable you can use over-the-counter pain medication before your extraction.

Wisdom Tooth Extraction Complications

We perform many wisdom tooth extractions every week at Barkly Street Dental Group and are proud to offer our expertise to make the experience as comfortable as possible.

For the most part, the complications and side effects of wisdom tooth removal are much milder than the pain and discomfort impacted wisdom teeth can cause. Post-surgery, you may experience some swelling, tenderness and discomfort, but this should improve in the week after the removal.

Once your dentist has removed the impacted wisdom tooth and closed up the incision, you will be given a piece of gauze to bite down on, to manage the bleeding.

Because we only get one set of adult teeth, it’s important they last for our lifetime. Impacted wisdom teeth can compromise the integrity of the rest of your teeth and should be removed if they are problematic.

We offer a safe wisdom teeth removal experience. Please contact our practice for a convenient appointment: (03) 5975 5355.

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