Wisdom teeth are usually any of the four third molars located at the very back of the mouth. They are called wisdom teeth because usually they come in when a person is between 17 and 25 years or older old enough to have gained some wisdom. They affect other teeth as they develop, becoming ‘impacted’ or coming in sideways. This causes pain and they need to be extracted. Sometimes cysts and tumours appear around the impaction site, especially in older patients and require surgical removal. Wisdom teeth are extracted for two main reasons, either the teeth have already become impacted, or would result in problems that include food particles easily trapped in the jaw area behind wisdom tooth where regular brushing or flossing are ineffective and lead to infections, which could be frequent and cause medical danger. Wisdom teeth may break partway through your gums, causing a flap of gum tissue to grow over them where food can become trapped and a gum infection can develop. Wisdom teeth can also come in crooked or facing the wrong direction. Or, if your jaw is not large enough to give them room, they may become impacted and unable to break through your gums.
WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS OF WISDOM TOOTH PROBLEMS?
Wisdom teeth often cause no symptoms. Symptoms that may mean your wisdom teeth need to be removed include: Pain or jaw stiffness near an impacted tooth. Pain or irritation from a tooth coming in at an awkward angle and rubbing against your cheek, tongue, or top or bottom of the mouth. An infected swelling in the flap of gum tissue that has formed on top of an impacted tooth that has partially broken through the gum.
WISDOM TOOTH EXTRACTION
Before removing a wisdom tooth, your dentist will give you a localanesthetic (means got syringe) to numb the area where the tooth will be removed. A general anesthetic may be used, especially if several or all of your wisdom teeth will be removed at the same time. A general anesthetic prevents pain in the whole body and will make you groggy or cause you to sleep through the procedure. Your dentist will probably recommend that you don’t eat or drink after midnight on the night before surgery, so you are prepared for the anesthetic. To remove the wisdom tooth, your dentist will open up the gum tissue over the tooth and take out any bone that is covering the tooth. He or she will separate the tissue connecting the tooth to the bone and then remove the tooth. Sometimes the dentist will cut the tooth into smaller pieces to make it easier to remove.
Signs of tooth infections after wisdom teeth extraction are many and the person must follow the instructions of the dental surgeons closely. Some of these are recounted below:
- Bleeding and oozing are expected, but one must not rinse the mouth, which would dislodge the blood clots that are forming. Gauze pads could be placed on the extraction site and bitten down firmly to stop the bleeding. Some doctors suggest that tannin contained in tea can help.
- Dry socketis a condition that occurs when the blood clot at the extraction site fails to form. The extraction site becomes irritated and painful, which is made worse by food trapped in the area.The surgeon may have to clean the area under local anaesthetic and prescribe ibrufen to ease the pain.
- Swelling should not be confused with dry socket and is a sign that the healing process has begun. Swelling should last for two to three weeks and subside on its own.
- Nerve injury can occur if the drill being used by the surgeon, inadvertently hits a nerve causing pain and bleeding. This type of injury can be permanent and in rare cases the bleeding may feed into the nerve canal due to the pressure of the blood build up.