Do you have problems with your wisdom teeth? Do they case you pain, swelling or inflammation? Go to a dental practice for an examination, because you might need to remove them. The following article provides useful information on when and why wisdom teeth should be extracted.
Why extract wisdom teeth?
Wisdom teeth are the four teeth that come into being at around age eighteen in the final position of both the lower and upper dental arches. For all intents and purpose they are molars, indeed they are referred to as the third molars, but since they appear only around the age of 18-20, they are commonly known as wisdom teeth.
Most people do not have enough space to accommodate wisdom teeth, which quite often are covered by the gums, or remain only partially uncovered. In such cases the teeth are referred to as totally impacted or partially impacted.
Partial or total impaction of wisdom teeth can cause pain, inflammation, swelling or cysts.
Another situation in which the wisdom teeth must be pulled is when their growth axis is not set correctly so that, in certain cases, the tooth can develop horizontally, placing pressure on the neighbouring tooth and damaging it.
When to extract the wisdom teeth
The wisdom teeth should be extracted when they are partially compacted, given that pockets can arise between the gum that covers them and the partially erupted teeth, allowing a stagnant deposit of bacterial plaque to accumulate.
They should also be removed when they are tilted at too much of an angle, as otherwise they could compromise the stability and health of the second molar.
Should there be problems with the wisdom teeth, it is best to go see the dentist, who can use a digital panoramic exam, and eventually other radiological examinations, to foresee the future developments of a given wisdom tooth and decide whether or not it should be removed.
On the other hand, if a wisdom tooth is totally impacted, then it need only be removed if it creates problems (infection, abscesses, pain or risk of shifting or damaging other teeth as it grows).
How wisdom teeth are extracted
The extraction of a wisdom tooth is a more difficult, complex procedure than the extraction of another tooth, especially in the case of the lower ones. The roots of the lower wisdom teeth can be located very close to the bone canal holding the lower alveolar nerve that innervates that entire half of the jaw, meaning that the utmost care must be taken to keep it from being damaged.
This is why it is simpler, and more convenient, to extract the wisdom teeth at a young age, when they are not yet fully grown and the roots are still in the developmental stage, not yet having reached the finished form.
After the extraction of a wisdom tooth, there may be pain and swelling, which can be alleviated by analgesics and antibiotics prescribed by the dentist. Eating cold food can help reduce the swelling.
After the operation, it is best to avoid eating or drinking anything hot. Aspirin should not be taken, and there should be no smoking for a few days, and the mouth should not be rinsed during the first 12 hours following the procedure.