Wisdom teeth are our third molars, aptly named because they tend to emerge in early adulthood when baby teeth are but distant memories. As these teeth are the last ones to erupt, space constraints may occur, leading to their improper orientation. This can leave them prone to problems as they emerge in the oral cavity. Timely removal of wisdom teeth may also avoid severe tooth decay, which in turn that may lead to additional teeth requiring extraction.
An impacted wisdom tooth can be painless, showing no undesirable indicators. However, should it become infected or start to cause other dental problems, you may experience some of these signs and symptoms:
- Pain and/or swelling of the gums or jaw bone
- Pain when chewing or biting or difficulty opening your jaw
- Prolonged headache
- Bad breath/bad taste in the mouth
If any of these symptoms are present in your mouth, then your dentist may advise you to have the wisdom tooth removed.
This removal can be a complex procedure due to its location and associated deep roots. Nowadays, the routine is relatively simple. If the tooth is not erupting straight from the gum, a surgical procedure requiring careful planning is generally required. This minimizes the possibility of post-operative pain and complications. Often more than one wisdom tooth is removed at the same time. Usually in this instance, local anesthesia is administered to make the extractions as comfortable as possible.