Impacted Wisdom Teeth
Impacted wisdom teeth refer to third molars that do not have enough space to fully emerge or develop properly.
What are Impacted Wisdom Teeth?
Impacted wisdom teeth refer to third molars that do not have enough space to fully emerge or develop properly. These teeth remain partially or fully trapped within the jawbone or gums. Wisdom teeth typically erupt between the ages of 17 and 25, but their late arrival and potential complications have led to their reputation for causing dental issues.
Symptoms of Impacted Wisdom Teeth
Impacted wisdom teeth may not always cause noticeable symptoms, but they can lead to various oral health problems. Jaw pain and discomfort are common symptoms, particularly around the area where the impacted teeth are located. Swelling and tenderness of the gums surrounding the affected area may also occur. Additionally, individuals with impacted wisdom teeth might have trouble opening their mouths fully or feel pressure or pain while doing so.
Other signs of impacted wisdom teeth include bad breath and an unpleasant taste in the mouth. Partially erupted wisdom teeth can create an opening in the gum tissue that serves as a breeding ground for bacteria, leading to the development of infections. This can result in persistent bad breath and a lingering unpleasant taste.
What is the most common cause of Impacted Wisdom Teeth?
The primary cause of impacted wisdom teeth is a lack of sufficient space within the mouth to accommodate their eruption. Human jaws have become smaller over time due various factors, including changes in diet, tool use, and mechanical changes in food processing, making it more likely for wisdom teeth to encounter obstruction during their eruption. As a result, wisdom teeth may grow at odd angles or remain trapped beneath the surface of the gums and jawbone.
How do you treat Impacted Wisdom Teeth?
The treatment for impacted wisdom teeth depends on numerous factors, such as the angle of impaction, the position of the teeth, and the presence of symptoms or complications. In some cases, if impacted wisdom teeth are not causing any problems and do not pose a risk to oral health, a “wait-and-see” approach may be taken, with regular monitoring by a dentist.
However, if impacted wisdom teeth lead to pain, swelling, infections, or damage to adjacent teeth, extraction is often recommended. Wisdom tooth extraction is a common surgical procedure performed by an oral surgeon or a dentist with specialized training. Local anaesthesia, sedation, or general anaesthesia may be used to ensure the patient’s comfort during the procedure.
During the extraction, the oral surgeon or dentist will make an incision in the gum tissue, remove any bone blocking access to the tooth, and then carefully extract the impacted tooth. After the extraction, stitches may be placed to promote proper healing of the surgical site. The recovery period typically involves some swelling and discomfort, but following post-operative instructions and taking prescribed pain medications can help manage these symptoms.
It is important to note that not all impacted wisdom teeth require extraction. Your dental professional will assess your specific situation and provide personalized recommendations based on your oral health and the presence of symptoms or complications associated with impacted wisdom teeth.
In conclusion, impacted wisdom teeth occur when there is insufficient space for their normal eruption, leading to symptoms such as jaw pain, swelling, and difficulty opening the mouth. The primary causes are a lack of space and crowding in the jaw. Treatment options include monitoring, extraction if necessary, and proper post-operative care. Regular dental check-ups are crucial for identifying and addressing impacted wisdom teeth in a timely manner.
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