Wisdom teeth are among the most common dental issues that confront patients and that we, at our Kitchener Dentist office, often have to deal with. It is a natural part of human development and one that used to serve a purpose.
These days, with all the convenience that comes with modern food and dining option, it is just a relic. Unfortunately, it has also become a problem for patients in their late teens and early 20s due to the discomfort that they feel.
What Are Wisdom Teeth
The wisdom teeth are the last two molars that grow in the further corner of the patient’s jaw, past the second set. They are called such because of how they supposedly embody the age at which they appear. This would be years ahead of when the rest of the permanent teeth have already popped up.
Back in the early developments of hominids, the jaw length of the typical hominid was quite a bit more pronounced than what most people have today. With evolution came the shortening of the jawline, thus leaving less room.
Unfortunately, this change in length did not accommodate the number of teeth that remained, which was still a lot. As such, with the addition of the wisdom teeth, most people simply have one set of molars too many than they really need.
In addition, this last set of molars also comes with problems that include pain, inflammation, and chronic discomfort.
Now, it was already noted that wisdom teeth typically come out during late teens or early adulthood, but there are no precise means of predicting the exact time of sprouting. At best, patients can watch out for the signs that they are coming out.
These signs would be:
- Chronic pain at the far end of the jaw, past the last set of molars.
- Constant aching that leads to a mild or severe migraine.
- Tenderness or swelling of the far end gum tissue.
- Bleeding of the gum area.
- Infection of the gum area.
Those are just some of the signs that wisdom teeth might be coming up. However, they are not always guaranteed to mean that the molars are about to sprout. They could be indicative of something else. A visit to our Kitchener Dentist office will give patients a more accurate assessment.
What’s more, wisdom teeth could be impacted, which means that they are not coming out as they should. They are stuck beneath a layer of gum tissue, which then causes a whole host of issues like inflammation, rot, and bacterial infection.
If this is the case, there is no choice but to have the wisdom teeth removed as quickly as possible before they lead to more serious problems like periodontal diseases. Their continued presence could also impact other dental procedures like caps and dental implants that the patient has already undergone.
Why Wisdom Teeth Needs Removal
Although some would think that an extra pair of teeth would be a boon to people, this is just not the case with wisdom teeth. There are a lot of reasons why this set of molars needs to be removed, though, there are many times where patients simply choose to leave them alone.
In a lot of cases, the wisdom teeth cause discomfort for only a brief period of time. Anywhere from a few days to a few weeks. After that, the patient hardly even notices that it is there. However, for those who do experience persisting symptoms, an extraction is the only permanent solution.
The reasons for doing so are as follows:
- Constant pain – With the combination of the pressure exerted by the wisdom teeth’s presence, the tear that the cusps make in the gum’s tissues, the bleeding, the inflammation, and the bacterial infection, one of the most common reasons for extracting the set of molars is the constant pain.
- Discomfort and migraine – Even without the pain, which will still be present, the constant pressure exerted by the presence of the wisdom teeth will irritate nerves. This then leads to migraines that can range from mild to extreme. What’s more, these migraines can persist for hours and hours.
- Chronic infection – If the wisdom teeth are allowed to remain and fester in the gums, the infection will just keep coming back no matter how many antibiotics the patient takes. This could then lead to a whole host of issues, including the other teeth becoming infected and the possible start of periodontal disease.
- Fever – One of the most common symptoms of wisdom teeth is a fever, accompanied by the pain that is felt in the back of the jaw. This is caused by the presence of bacteria, as well as the stress that the presence of the molars is placing on the body.
- Breathing problems – Thanks to the stress that the molars place on the mind and body, wisdom teeth are also known to cause breathing issues when coupled with everyday pressures.
- Heart disease – Finally, it has been observed that there is a link between the exacerbation of heart diseases and wisdom teeth. That is to say, those with congenital heart defects are more prone to experiencing related issues if the wisdom teeth are not removed.
How Wisdom Teeth are Removed
The removal of wisdom teeth is a fairly straightforward process. The first step will be to check the condition of the molars, whether they are impacted or not.
If the wisdom teeth are already fully sprouted, the extraction will be similar to removing any of the other teeth. A local anesthetic will be applied, and the teeth will be pulled from the roots.
If the wisdom teeth are impacted, there will be a need to make an incision before the molars can be removed. This is a delicate process that will involve a bit more of time but is otherwise simple.
Once the teeth have been removed, the patient will be prescribed the appropriate medication to help fight off infection, relieve inflammation, and encourage faster healing. The recovery process should be relatively short, as well.
If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our dental office today.