Can Wisdom Teeth Cause Problems
At NQ Surgery, we are asked this question many times by many patients of all ages.
Quite simply, the answer is yes. Impacted wisdom teeth have the potential to cause a number of dental problems. These may include infection leading to intermittent pain and swelling.
Often impacted teeth have associated infection that can become chronic and lead to the destruction of the adjacent jawbone. Such chronic infection can lead to the development of cysts that may expand and destroy the surrounding bone even further. This can leave the jaw weak and prone to fracture. The presence of impacted and poorly positioned teeth can also lead to the application of force to adjustment teeth that in turn may cause a cavity to develop due to either decay or pressure resorption of the root surface. Either of these may lead to the death of the tooth pulp which may then become infected.
While impacted teeth can reside harmlessly within the jaw bones for variable periods of time, eventually, the associated problems become more frequent and complicated. These problems include:
Tooth decay of the impacted and adjacent teeth – Being inaccessible for tooth brushing, food may accumulate between impacted teeth and their adjacent teeth, starting a process of tooth decay.
Inflammation of the overlying gums – Also known as “pericoronitis” which is when the tooth is partially covered by the gums. Food and bacteria begin gathering underneath the gums that can cause pain and inflammation.
Referred or radiating pain – Impacted wisdom teeth can cause jaw and muscle pain known as TMD (temporomandibular joint disorder). Pain can also be referred to other nearby structures such as the ears or teeth in the same or opposing jaw.
When should I remove my impacted wisdom teeth?
Impacted teeth can be removed at any age, but it is generally agreed that removing wisdom teeth during the late teens/early twenties is advantageous since the tooth roots may not yet be completely formed, thus allowing for easier removal. More importantly, the shorter the time impacted teeth remain in your jaw bones, the less likelihood there is of additional complications.
I am worried…Will it hurt?
Wisdom teeth can be removed safely at our practice, or in the Mater Hospital. Here at NQ Surgical Dentistry, our first rule in treating nervous, anxious or phobic patients is to avoid being judgemental and to be understanding and supportive. In most cases, impacted teeth are relatively simple to remove under Intravenous Sedation.
Nowadays there is a range of effective and potent anaesthetic drugs which will achieve profound anaesthesia of the jaw allowing surgery to be performed with a complete absence of discomfort or pain. There is no excuse today for patients to suffer discomfort and pain when receiving any dental treatment. We do however understand that patients may be apprehensive and it is for this reason that sedation is used so often and not because the procedure is likely to be painful.
Your consultation at NQ Surgery….
During your check-up, Dr Colin Priestland may take a full face x-ray to diagnose the need for their removal. This x-ray gives provides a clear view of the area around the wisdom teeth to determine the type of extraction necessary for each tooth.