Wisdom teeth are not really the sign of growth in wisdom. They are called so because they grow at a time when the human body tends to reach its final stages of development (which happens between 17 to 21 years of age). In reality, wisdom teeth are impacted teeth, i.e. teeth whose growth has been hindered by a shortage of space inside the mouth.
While fully emerged impacted teeth might not register any sensation of pain inside the mouth, pain and swelling does occur when they are coming out of gums. The pain is localized not only to the gum but spreads to nearby teeth. On many occasions the pain travels upwards- on the sides of the face and into the ear. However, the pain subsides once the tooth breaks out of the gum.
Problems Caused By Impacted Teeth
Regular, unhindered growth of wisdom teeth does not cause any set of problems. However, impacted teeth become a cause of concern as their hindered growth put pressure on the surrounding areas. The following oral problems are observed when one suffers from impacted teeth:
- Bad breath
- Difficulty opening the jaw
- Formation of plaque
- Sensation of pain while biting or eating.
Detection of Impacted Teeth
One needs to go to visit a dentist for a proper diagnosis of the area in which the impacted teeth grows. Many a times, an x-ray image is required to figure out the location of impacted teeth and the space available for their growth. The dentist would then facilitate the ‘blossoming’ of the tooth and the above mentioned symptoms would, then, go away.
Treatment for Impacted Teeth
The occurrence of impacted teeth can not be avoided in any manner. There is always a shortage of space when the body is trying to attain its full growth. Hence, the age old adage ‘Prevention is better than cure’ won’t work. If you have impacted teeth, then you need to get them treated.
If impacted teeth results in a minor pain, then it can be treated with warm saline-water solution. If that doesn’t help then over-the-counter painkillers can be used to suppress the pain.
However, if impacted teeth really hurt then you need to visit a dentist/maxillofacial surgeon for proper treatment. Treatment would usually include administering a local anesthetic agent, locating the impacted tooth and then taking it forcibly out of the gums. The entire procedure may take a maximum of 30 minutes.
Are There Any Complications of The Surgery?
While the complications of impacted tooth surgery are rare their occurrence can not be completely denied. For the best results, it is advised that impacted teeth are taken out before the age of 21.