Starting as early as our late teens or as late as our early thirties, our wisdom teeth begin to break through the surface and it is not uncommon for this to cause problems.
If we have a lack of space for the teeth to come through, they can get stuck at an angle, partially emerge or push against other teeth in our mouth.
This process, known as ‘impacted wisdom teeth’ can be very painful and in some cases they will need to be removed.
When should I see a dentist?
If you are experiencing severe pain in your wisdom teeth/tooth make an appointment with your dentist. They will then look at your wisdom teeth and assess to see if they are impacted or not.
Following this you may be required to have an X-ray so that they can see a clear picture of what is happening.
Will my wisdom teeth be removed?
Dentists won’t always recommend that you get your wisdom teeth removed unless they are causing severe problems such as cellulitis, abscesses or other conditions such as gum disease. Before removing your wisdom teeth conditions will be attempted to be treated with antibiotics and mouthwash solutions but if the symptoms worsen, the infected teeth will be removed.
How will they remove them?
You’ll be given a local anaesthetic and the dentist will loosen the tooth manually before either breaking up the tooth to be removed or making a small incision in the gum to help remove the tooth.
The area should heal within 2 weeks but it varies from person to person.
What if I’m scared of the dentist?
It’s important not to be scared or worried at all. Dentistry has changed unrecognisably in the past 50 years, so the bad experiences you had as a child won’t be anything like what you might experience today.
For one thing, health and safety is much improved. Dentists now wear nitrate gloves instead of latex gloves to reduce the chances of an allergic reaction (you can find out more about the gloves used if you think you might have a latex allergy), whilst anaesthetic will also always be used, even for small fillings.
The most important thing to know is that dentists no longer pull teeth out with plier-like instruments. The process is much more gentle now, and there’s nothing to be worried about.
Contact a dentist now if you have a severe pain in your wisdom teeth.