Impacted Wisdom Teeth
The last adult teeth we develop are called wisdom teeth. Typically, there are four wisdom teeth in total, with two on top and two on the bottom. Unfortunately, most people do not have room for their wisdom teeth and will need to have wisdom tooth surgery to remove them from their mouths. We at San Francisco Dental Arts are here to walk you through everything you need to know about impacted wisdom teeth, tooth extraction, and how it prevents gum disease.
Effects of Impacted Wisdom Teeth
If the wisdom teeth are not extracted in time before they erupt, or grow in, there are several potential negative consequences. For instance, molars are already difficult to clean as it is, so try to imagine cleaning even further back in your mouth. The same is true for wisdom teeth; this is why so many patients with erupted wisdom teeth can experience pericoronitis.
The lower wisdom teeth tend to be especially vulnerable to this condition when infection from wisdom teeth erupting causes the gums to become inflamed. Sometimes, impacted wisdom teeth will also result in a harmful cyst developing on the jawbone. In addition, because there simply is not room in your mouth, the wisdom teeth will push against your other teeth, causing them to shift, sometimes so bad orthodontic care is needed to fix.
Even in rare cases where wisdom teeth can grow in without any negative complications, issues can still arise. Because molars are difficult to clean in general, wisdom teeth are even more difficult to brush and floss. This leads to a build-up of plaque and can damage other teeth and your oral health as a whole.
Solutions to Impacted Wisdom Teeth
The only successful solution to wisdom teeth problems is through a tooth extraction. Growing wisdom teeth happens naturally, and there is no prevention for it in most cases. There typically are no symptoms, although if infected, you will experience normal oral infection symptoms such as bad breath, swelling and bleeding gums, pain during chewing or opening your mouth. During the patient’s teenage years, our dentists will begin to take x-rays. We will also stay alert for the progress of wisdom teeth in our patients who have yet to have their wisdom teeth extracted.
Wisdom teeth extraction happens through a simple surgery that usually takes less than an hour. Anesthesia is used to numb and put patients to sleep, for a comfortable, painless procedure. The gum is cut open, the impacted tooth is removed, and then the procedure finishes by stitching the gum back up. Recovery is simple, as well. You will leave the dental office right after the procedure and return to normal activities after about three days. It is important to take care of your mouth after surgery to prevent further complications.
We will also instruct you on all the specifics about how to have a fast, smooth recovery. Within six weeks, you should be fully recovered. If you would like more information about impacted wisdom teeth or want to set up a consultation, please contact San Francisco Dental Arts at 415-854-9396 today.