Wisdom Teeth Removal
We see a lot of people who come in with painful wisdom teeth or other problems associated with impacted wisdom teeth that need to be removed.
The common age to experience problems with wisdom teeth is between 18 to 25 as that is when wisdom teeth come through.
Common problems with wisdom teeth.
Wisdom tooth decay: Because the wisdom teeth are so far back in the mouth we find a lot of people just aren’t able to clean them as well as their other teeth. This will result in quite bad cavities that then require the wisdom tooth or teeth to be removed.
‘Teething’ or Wisdom teeth coming through: Essentially just as a baby goes through a ‘teething’ process, so do young adults with their wisdom teeth. As the wisdom teeth come through they can be very painful and be more susceptible to gum infections.
Not enough space or impacted wisdom teeth: These are the vast majority of people we treat for wisdom teeth. Many people have a jaw that doesn’t quite have enough room to allow the wisdom teeth to come through. Wisdom teeth that don’t have the space to come through often sit halfway through and keep causing infections. If the impacted wisdom teeth do come through then they may push the other teeth around causing Orthodontic problems.
Do we actually need wisdom teeth? What job do wisdom teeth perform?
From an evolutionary point of view, in 400-500 years humans may not even have wisdom teeth. We are losing them – there are more and more cases of people who don’t have them, or have just one or two wisdom teeth.
Back in the days of hunters and gatherers humans were losing teeth when biting into raw hides, so we needed those extra teeth just like animals do. Nowadays we survive on a softer diet and most of our cutting is with a knife and a fork so our bodies are evolving to not require wisdom teeth.
Early human beings also had much bigger jaws to accommodate all these teeth whereas we are evolving to have much smaller jaws. This means that in most young kids we see now they don’t even have the space to fit their wisdom teeth.
Symptoms and treatment of wisdom teeth problems.
The main symptoms our patients present with when they have problematic wisdom teeth are:
- Wisdom teeth pain: this pain can range from a small ache to full blown head, tooth and jaw pain depending how long the wisdom teeth have been left untreated.
- Swelling around wisdom teeth: swelling is often caused by small gum infections in the area around the wisdom teeth and often accompanied by pain.
- Headaches: The pressure and pain can spread to the point where it affects your jaw and head.
Commonly the treatment for problematic wisdom teeth is to have them removed. Depending on the position and number of wisdom teeth, and circumstances for each patient we will either do this in our practice or refer you to a recommended surgeon for the removal to be done under general anesthetic.
Wisdom teeth never strike at a good time.
Many of the patients we see for wisdom teeth pain are 18 to 25 years old. They have either just left home or are planning on doing so soon, so money is tight and a visit to the dentist isn’t always their first priority. So we understand that the pain, inconvenience and cost associated with the removal of wisdom teeth doesn’t come at a good time for this age group.
If they attend their six monthly check ups and are having regular X-Rays then we can usually pick up a problem before it becomes painful. If not then sooner or later the pain and discomfort may bring them to see us.
Unsure what your next step is with your problematic wisdom teeth?
We are more than happy to discuss your situation and book a consultation for you.
Call us on (08) 8346 3940 or get in touch via our contact form.