Sharing our wisdom about an infected wisdom tooth.
Not everybody has problems with their wisdom teeth, but if you're one of those who need advice, we’re happy to provide it.
Sometimes life is very unfair. What gets us into this philosophical mood, you may ask. Well, we were reading an article recently about a man in Manchester who had won a major sum of money in the U.K. lotto not once, not twice, but on three different occasions.
It struck us that this was a very unequal allocation of good fortune, and we railed against the fact that there are millions of people out there who simply can’t catch a break, while this guy would seem to be a “teacher’s pet” among the gods who decide our fate.
This seeming unfairness about life is also very obvious in our own field of dentistry. Take the topic of wisdom teeth, for example. Some people breeze through life without a hint of a problem – but others run into all sorts of problems, often involving surgery. We read a report recently from the American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons which reckoned that up to 85% of wisdom teeth eventually need to be extracted.
What’s a wisdom tooth, and why are they a problem?
Wisdom teeth are simply a 3rd set of molars. They normally appear in the back of your mouth between the ages of 18 and 25. And because this is an age when we’re typically becoming a little mature, the name ‘wisdom teeth’ has taken hold.
The fact that you get wisdom teeth is not a problem in itself. There are many people out there who develop wisdom teeth that work as perfectly as the rest of their teeth. The difficulty for patient and for dentists, however, is that it's impossible to predict when complications will occur with third molars.
Assuming that you have wisdom teeth and are considering having them taken out, the accepted wisdom is that it’s better to have them taken out as a young adult – rather than later in life.
The ideal time to opt for surgery is when the roots are about two-thirds formed. This normally happens when you’re between fifteen and eighteen or thereabouts.
The longer people delay, the greater the risk of complications – or of more difficult and painful surgery. And if you’ve ever experienced an infected wisdom tooth, you’ll know that we’re not exaggerating.
Why do they need to be removed in the first place?
That’s a good question. Your dentist will typically recommend extraction when your third molars have become impacted. An impacted wisdom tooth is one that is trapped within either your gums or your jawbone. Extraction might also be recommended if the wisdom teeth are presenting at the wrong angle, or if there’s simply no room in your mouth to accommodate them.
We can help you with wisdom tooth pain relief
The pain associated with difficult wisdom teeth can be very significant, so don't put things on the long finger if you're starting to suffer. Drop in to us and let’s make a plan for you that addresses the long-term issue – and decide if it's time to extract those suckers right away.
You can find out more about the topic of wisdom tooth extraction on the always very helpful WebMD site. Here’s a good starting point – http://www.webmd.com/oral-health/wisdom-tooth-extraction