Wisdom teeth that don’t come through properly, or that emerge from the gum at a peculiar angle, can cause recurring pain and significant discomfort. If your wisdom teeth are causing you problems, we can help.
What are wisdom teeth?
Wisdom teeth are the third molars at the back of your mouth. They’re the last molars to come through, typically breaking the surface of the gum by the time you reach your mid-twenties.
Common wisdom teeth problems
Misaligned wisdom teeth
By the time your wisdom teeth come through, the mouth is usually full of adult teeth, and there may not be enough room for your new arrivals. This overcrowding is why wisdom teeth often surface at awkward angles or only emerge partially from the gum.
When wisdom teeth emerge misaligned in an overcrowded mouth, they may position themselves horizontally, at an inward or outward angle, or be pointed towards or away from your second molars. Poor alignment of your wisdom teeth can also cause pressure and eventually damage to adjacent teeth, the jawbone and the nerves.
Impacted wisdom teeth
Teeth that erupt through the gum, are enclosed within the soft tissue and/or the jawbone or only partially break through are known as impacted. And, if a tooth is impacted, the surrounding gum may become swollen, painful or even infected.
Partial eruption of a wisdom tooth can cause serious problems in the mouth as it creates an opening for bacteria to enter around the tooth. Infection can cause pain, swelling, jaw stiffness and general illness. Partially erupted teeth are also harder to clean, making them more susceptible to tooth decay and gum disease.
Symptoms of an impacted wisdom tooth may include:
- A throbbing pain at the back of the mouth
- Swelling around the jaw
- Swollen and bleeding gums
- Bad breath
- An unpleasant taste when eating
- Swollen glands in the shoulder or neck
- Headaches or aches in the jaw
Wisdom tooth pain can come and go over months or even years. But, you should consult a dentist if you experience any of the above symptoms. If left untreated, impacted wisdom teeth can start to cause damage or dental decay to teeth nearby.
How are wisdom teeth removed?
Not all wisdom teeth need to be removed. But, often, a professional extraction of the impacted tooth is the only way to get rid of your symptoms.
Wisdom tooth removal at Sleep Dentistry Melbourne is performed by highly skilled clinical teams using modern techniques and advanced anaesthetics.
First, we’ll take an X-ray of your mouth to determine if there’s enough room for your teeth to come down safely, and whether or not you need an extraction. If we do need to remove your wisdom teeth, we’ll help you decide which form of treatment, as well as anaesthesia, is more appropriate for you.
If we remove your wisdom teeth in the practice at the Sleep Dentistry clinic, you’ll be given a local anaesthetic to numb the tooth and surrounding area. If we decide that a surgical removal in hospital is more appropriate, you’ll be given a general anaesthetic.
The dentist or oral surgeon will normally prepare the tooth for removal by rocking it back and forth, thereby widening the tooth socket. Often, this will cause the tissue and fluids to build up around the tooth, which will gently push it out of the socket without any need for force.
If you’re having problems with your wisdom teeth, want to learn more about your options for wisdom tooth removal or if you’d like to book an appointment, give us a call on 1300 255 600.