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Wisdom Teeth: What Are They and What Problems Do They Pose to You?

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Wisdom teeth, often known as “third molars,” typically grow between the ages of 17 and 25, while around 25% to 35% of the population never develops wisdom teeth. There are a plethora of possibilities and issues that can arise for people who do develop them. Individuals typically grow four of them, one in each corner of the mouth. If the four “third molars” grow in with the other teeth on a regular basis, they can be a healthy asset to the mouth. Wisdom teeth, on the other hand, are frequently extracted due to issues and problems.

Wisdom Teeth Impaction

When describing teeth that have failed to emerge into their expected position, the term “impaction” is employed. The majority of wisdom teeth fall into this category, owing to a lack of space in your jaw to fit the teeth. There are a few different varieties of impaction that dentists see on a regular basis, and each one has its own set of issues for the individual who lives with it.

Impaction might be mesial, vertical, horizontal, or distal. A horizontal impaction occurs when a wisdom tooth grows in sideways, roughly 90 degrees from the rest of the teeth. The wisdom tooth grows towards the rest of the teeth when there is a horizontal impaction. A distal impaction happens when a tooth grows in at a 45-degree angle against the path of the neighbouring teeth. Mesial impaction is the opposite of distal impaction in that the tooth grows in towards the others. Finally, vertical impaction happens when the tooth grows upright.

The other key differential between these types of impactions is whether they are “bony” or “soft tissue” impactions. The phrase “soft tissue impaction” refers to a tooth that has entered the bone but not the gums. A bony impaction, on the other hand, refers to teeth that are still contained in the bone of the jaw.

Should Wisdom Teeth Be Removed?

Apart from impaction, there are a number of other issues that might arise if these teeth are left in your mouth. Even though the age-old argument for wisdom tooth removal is misalignment or shifting of other teeth in your mouth if wisdom teeth are allowed to grow, some of these justifications are controversial and open to interpretation. It is undeniable that not everyone’s wisdom teeth require extraction. They do not, in fact, cause difficulties by virtue of the fact that they are developing.

However, there are some very valid reasons for having wisdom teeth extracted if your dentist recommends it. Pericoronitis, for example, is a condition in which an infection originates in the tissues around the crown of a partially erupted wisdom teeth. Infection is caused mostly by the presence of bacteria, which accumulates since the tooth has only partially erupted through the gums and is practically hard to clean.

Similar circumstances can occur if your wisdom teeth is predisposed to tooth decay. Some wisdom teeth are positioned in such a way that they are difficult to clean and remove the plaque that accumulates, as in the case of pericoronitis. If left undisturbed, the plaque that forms has the potential to turn into decay, just like a regular tooth. This can be especially dangerous for wisdom teeth, as a dental filling may not be enough to fix the condition.

Other difficulties that might arise as a result of wisdom teeth remaining in the mouth include harm to nearby teeth as well as the development of cysts and tumours. Both of these are unusual events, but they are nonetheless feasible with any set of wisdom teeth under the correct conditions.

These teeth may be extracted for a variety of reasons, including severe and chronic pain. Some people endure excruciating pain when the tooth begins to erupt, which is likely one of the primary reasons you made an appointment with the dentist in the first place. Whether they are erupting or not, they all have the potential to produce pain, whether that discomfort is caused by the tooth’s harm to neighbouring teeth in your mouth, its malposition, or for some other reason. In reality, a person with an impacted wisdom tooth may endure not only pain, but also bleeding, edoema, numbness in the lower lip, and a persistent sinus hole.

Examining Wisdom Teeth

Before your wisdom teeth are extracted, and before the dentist makes any recommendations, he or she will take a full set of x-rays to check that they do indeed need to be extracted. The x-rays help the dentist to evaluate what type of impaction he is dealing with and determine the likelihood that your wisdom teeth will cause problems with your other teeth in the future. The truth is that x-rays are required since not all wisdom teeth can be viewed simply by looking in the mouth. A horizontal, bony-impacted wisdom teeth, for example, cannot be seen since it lies below the gum line.

Extraction of Wisdom Teeth

If your dentist recommends that you have your wisdom teeth out, the surgical extraction procedure will require the use of either a local or general anaesthetic. The entire treatment should take no longer than an usual dentist office visit, depending on how difficult the wisdom tooth is to extract.

However, to avoid further complications, you will need to follow some basic post-procedure care. You can reduce bleeding after wisdom teeth extraction by chewing on gauze or even a teabag. Swelling may also occur throughout the healing phase, which is usually five to seven days. If your stitches did not dissolve on their own, your dentist or oral surgeon will remove them during your post-operative checkup.

Your dentist may advise you to follow a few easy instructions in the days following surgery. For example, you should refrain from cleaning your mouth for the first twenty-four hours following surgery. You should also follow a soft-food or liquid-only diet for the first twenty-four to thirty-six hours before progressively transitioning to easy-to-chew and conventional foods. When you finally start eating again, avoid chewing with the teeth on the opposite side of the extraction site. The dentist will also advise you to rinse with warm salt water after every meal until your next checkup.

Though wisdom teeth do not play as major a role or fulfil as many functions as the other teeth or molars in your mouth, they might create a variety of issues. Your dentist, who can continuously x-ray your mouth and monitor what your wisdom teeth are doing, may provide the greatest care for them. The dentist can provide recommendations for wisdom tooth extraction before they cause difficulties in your mouth.

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