People usually get their wisdom teeth between the ages 17 and 25. Wisdom teeth are the third set of molars on the upper and lower jaws. In cases where the teeth grow in a proper position, the person does not suffer from any wisdom tooth problems.
The main reason behind most wisdom teeth problems is that of irregular growth of the teeth. When they are growing, wisdom teeth may not grow straight, but rather grow in an odd angle. This crooked growth is one of the wisdom tooth problems that cause the wisdom tooth to press against the second molar or the gums causing the person great discomfort.
Another cause behind wisdom tooth problems is when a person’s jaw being too small. In these cases, the teeth are usually crowded and there is not enough space for the wisdom tooth to grow. The wisdom tooth then gets trapped in the gums and is not able to split through the gums.
What Happens If The Teeth Are Impacted
A tooth that is unable to break through the gums is called an impacted tooth. Sometimes the wisdom tooth may break through the gum, but only partially. Here, a small piece of the gum forms a soft flap at the back of the wisdom tooth, called an operculum. Food getting trapped in the operculum is inevitable and cleaning the operculum cannot be done using an ordinary toothbrush. Methods to clean it are to use a syringe to provide pressurized water to remove any debris that has collected underneath or to wash it with hydrogen peroxide.
In several cases, even with wisdom tooth problems such as irregular growth, impacted teeth or the formation of an operculum, the patient may not experience any form of symptoms. However, when they do, the symptoms are usually pain; mostly severe, infection of the gums and swelling of the gums and cheeks in the particular region. In the case of the formation of an operculum, the person will also experience bad tastes in the mouth together with the infection.
In almost all types of wisdom tooth problems, the treatment is to extract the tooth. This can be very painful and therefore patients are given local anesthetics before undergoing the surgery. Wisdom tooth problems are not something that can be avoided, but frequent visits to the dentist can result in a sooner diagnosis of a possible wisdom tooth problem, so the tooth can be extracted.
If you are having some problems or pain associated with your wisdom teeth, then give us a call today. An exam with x-rays will allow us to see just what the problem is and what course of treatment is best for your condition.