These days, it’s common for dentists to recommend wisdom teeth be removed before you even realize these third molars are there. Even so, you should be aware of the warning signs of impacted wisdom teeth so you can talk with your dentist in St. Petersburg, FL about the problem.
Wisdom Teeth Warning Signs
Signs of problems with your wisdom teeth will come about gradually. You probably won’t just wake up one day with an excruciating toothache. Instead, you’ll start to feel pain at the back your mouth, behind your molars. The discomfort will increase over time as the wisdom teeth continue to grow.
If you don’t have room for your wisdom teeth — and most people don’t — the teeth won’t grow in straight. They may grow in sideways, which puts pressure on bone and nerves and crowds your surrounding teeth. You may also notice redness or swelling behind your molars that could be the result of infection. If your wisdom teeth erupt through your gums, bacteria can enter the tissue and cause infection.
If your wisdom teeth aren’t removed in a timely manner, they could become impacted. That means your jaw or your existing teeth prevent the wisdom teeth from erupting through the gum tissue. Your wisdom teeth will become trapped as their roots get longer and embedded in your gums and bones. The longer wisdom teeth remain impacted, the greater the chance of a problem. If your wisdom teeth become impacted, you could experience:
- Severe pain at the back of your mouth
- Bad breath
- Bad taste when eating food
- Redness and swelling
Left untreated, impacted wisdom teeth can cause cysts and occasionally tumors.
Treatment for Impacted Wisdom Teeth
Extraction is the most common treatment for impacted wisdom teeth. The procedure is usually performed by a general dentist or an oral surgeon who uses sedation dentistry. The extent of the procedure depends on the condition of your wisdom teeth.
For example, if your wisdom teeth have already erupted through your gums, they may be easily removed. If your wisdom teeth are impacted, the procedure is little more complicated and may require the services of an oral surgeon or a general dentist with additional training.
To remove impacted wisdom teeth, the surgeon will make an incision in your gum above the tooth. If bone covers the tooth, it will need to be removed as well. Once the wisdom tooth is exposed, it is removed. In some cases, the tooth will need to be cut into several pieces in order to save as much bone as possible and avoid damaging nerves and tissues. The incision will be closed using sutures.
Even though the procedure sounds highly involved, wisdom teeth extraction is a very common treatment at general dentistry offices. If you are experiencing problems with your wisdom teeth, please call us at 727-498-1959 for an appointment. The earlier you seek treatment, the easier it will be to remove your wisdom teeth.