Wisdom teeth can start erupting from 16 years of age and usually lose their eruptive force by 23years. They vary in size, shape and root structure. All these things must be considered when assessing them for removal. Not all people have wisdom teeth.
Reasons for removal
· Recurrent infections which can cause pain, bad breath, ulcers and jaw aches
· Effecting the teeth around by pushing into the roots of adjacent teeth and causing decay and food traps
· Tooth has some pathology for example a cyst
· Bone or adjacent teeth are stopping it from fully erupting (impacted)
· Often advised after orthodontic treatment to stop further tooth movement
Do I have my wisdom teeth removed?
· The younger you are the easier it is to remove them because the bone is more malleable and the root structure not fully formed
· Recurrent infections around the wisdom tooth make it more likely that removal is the best option
· Are you systemically healthy? Some diseases like diabetes make it more likely that infections should be avoided
· How close are the roots of the wisdom teeth to the nerve that runs in the jaw bone. Our cone beam X-rays give us a 3-D view of the area and make it less likely that the nerve will be affected
How do I treat an infection around a wisdom tooth?
The infection usually occurs because there is a flap of gum over the partially erupted tooth. This is difficult to clean and bacteria love it under here. The bacteria increase in numbers and your body comes to your aid by rushing blood to the area (inflammation and swelling) and by alerting you to the problem with pain
· See a dentist to have the tooth assessed
· Keep the area as clean as you can with brushing, salty mouth washes and the use of a little syringe filled with mouthwash (Savacol) and squirting this under the flap of gum
· If infection is advanced then pain killers and Antibiotics maybe necessary
If you have any questions feel free to ask me at firstname.lastname@example.org or come and see me, Dr Caroline Downing at Mdt dental 9908 3466