Impacted Wisdom Teeth
Impacted wisdom teeth become a concern for many. These third molars, emerging between 17 and 25, get trapped in gums or jawbone, causing various oral health issues.
What are impacted wisdom teeth?
Wisdom teeth, also third molars, appear last in the mouth. Usually, they align with other teeth without causing problems. Yet, they may get trapped in gums or jawbone, causing impaction. This leads to issues like cavities, gum disease, and infection.
Wisdom teeth gone rogue
Impacted wisdom teeth are very common, affecting about 90% of people. Impaction can cause symptoms and oral health problems. Symptoms vary between individuals. Some have no issues, while others develop symptoms slowly or suddenly. Common signs include jaw or face pain, red, swollen, or bleeding gums, bad taste, bad breath, and difficulty fully opening the mouth.
Consult a dentist if you suspect impacted wisdom teeth. They'll evaluate symptoms and might take dental X-rays to assess tooth position and potential jawbone or tooth damage. When impacted wisdom teeth cause pain, infection, or dental problems, surgical removal is common. Dentists often recommend this as a preventive measure, even without symptoms.
While impacted wisdom teeth can be challenging to remove, the process isn't necessarily more painful. Dentists or oral surgeons use local anesthesia or sedation for comfort. They make an incision in the gums, remove any bone-blocking tooth access, and extract the impacted tooth. The incision is sutured, and post-operative care and pain management instructions are provided.
The road to relief
Most recover in one to two weeks. In the first days, expect swelling, pain, and mild bleeding. Pain relievers and post-operative care help. Follow a soft diet, maintain oral hygiene, and attend follow-up appointments as advised.
Taking charge of oral health
Impacted wisdom teeth can lead to oral health issues, often requiring surgical removal. Understanding symptoms, causes, and management is vital for oral health. Proper dental care and seeking professional advice can mitigate risks. If you suspect impacted wisdom teeth, consult a dental professional for an evaluation and personalized treatment plan.