When wisdom teeth erupt correctly and are correctly positioned, they are a great asset to your mouth
Although, sometimes, problems develop such as insufficient space in the jaw, which will require the removal of them.
Wisdom teeth are the final teeth to erupt, usually between the ages of 17-25. There are usually four wisdom teeth, two at the top of the jaw in the back of the mouth, and two at the bottom. Sometimes people may not have any wisdom teeth at all, whilst some may have a single wisdom tooth and others may have two or three.
Wisdom teeth become impacted when there is insufficient space in your mouth to cater for them and they are unable to emerge from the jawbone, or they partially erupt through the gum. Partial eruption often results in the wisdom tooth becoming trapped beneath a flap of gum tissue, making it very difficult to clean. As a result, the wisdom tooth is at risk for tooth decay and even gum disease.
WHEN SHOULD WISDOM TEETH BE REMOVED?
At Trembath Dental, we recommend that patients get their wisdom teeth removed when:
- They only partially erupt. This can leave an opening for harmful bacteria to enter the gum and cause infections and pain, swelling, jaw stiffness and even general illness.
- They cause damage to surrounding teeth. Sometimes when the wisdom teeth only partially erupt they can cause the surrounding teeth to become crowded or crooked.
- A cyst forms. Cysts are capable of destroying the surrounding structures of the wisdom tooth such as bone or tooth.
HOW WILL DR TREMBATH ASSESS MY WISDOM TEETH?
Dr Trembath will first make sure that the source of the problem is actually your wisdom teeth and not something else, such as temporomandibular joint disorder or issues with either your gums or surrounding teeth. Special X-rays taken of your teeth (called OPGs), along with a thorough examination of your mouth, will help Dr Trembath assess the situation. He will need to look at:
- The level of eruption: this refers to whether the wisdom teeth have fully erupted, partially erupted or haven’t erupted at all;
- The angle of the wisdom teeth: if your wisdom teeth are positioned in a favourable angle below the gum, they may be useful once they’ve finally erupted;
- The positioning of the wisdom teeth: wisdom teeth can be properly aligned with other teeth or misaligned, which, in case of the latter can be problematic;
- Signs of infection: tenderness, inflammation, and leakage of pus can indicate they your wisdom teeth are infected;
- Signs of tooth decay: in which brown, grey or black spots begin forming on your wisdom teeth;
- The proximity of the inferior dental nerve to the roots of your wisdom teeth: this is only applicable to the lower wisdom teeth and plays an important role in determining whether or not wisdom teeth should be extracted.
In your check up and clean, the team at Trembath Dental will assess your wisdom teeth and advise you as to whether you need to have them extracted.
For more information on wisdom teeth assessment, contact us today.