Wisdom teeth, or commonly known as the 3rd molars, are the very last teeth right at the back of the mouth which are the last to emerge. Usually from around 15 to 25 years of age, however this can vary between individuals, or not erupt at all.
Sometimes the human jaw can be too small to accommodate all 32 teeth and there is no room for the wisdom teeth to develop properly. It is common for wisdom teeth to push against other surrounding teeth causing pain and irritation to cheeks and gums, this is known as impacted teeth which can lead to issues such as, gum infection, tooth decay, damage to other teeth and even jaw cysts.
Sometimes as the wisdom teeth emerge a small infection can occur in the gum immediately surrounding the tooth. This infection is called ‘pericoronitis’ and is a result of plaque and bacteria becoming trapped between the tooth and the surrounding gum. On occasions removal of the problem teeth may be the best solution.
The method used for extraction varies for each tooth and person. Some teeth can be simply removed under local anaesthesia like any other extraction. Impacted (trapped) teeth will often require a very minor surgical procedure to lift the tooth out of the surrounding bone and gum. Surgery may be performed under local anaesthesia or general anaesthesia.
Speak to your Dental Excellence dentist at your next scheduled appointment, to discuss the options available for wisdom tooth extraction.