Impacted wisdom teeth tend to grow in at an angle, which can damage your existing teeth by causing overcrowding. When your teeth become overcrowded your jaw can move out of alignment and you can start grinding your teeth, which can cause further damage in the form of chips, cracks and enamel loss. Symptoms of impacted wisdom teeth include jaw pain, inflamed gums and bleeding when you brush your teeth. You should seek prompt treatment to prevent tooth damage if you think your wisdom teeth are impacted. Here's and overview of the treatment process:
Treating Impacted Wisdom Teeth
Impacted wisdom teeth can be diagnosed by taking X-rays of your mouth, which will show the angle your teeth are growing in and how far they are from the surface of your gums. Impacted wisdom teeth typically have to be removed, and they can be extracted before they break through your gum line.
Occasionally, if you have a wisdom tooth that's not growing at too much of an adverse angle, your dentist may suggest you have the molar next to that wisdom tooth removed to enable the wisdom tooth to grow in with more space. This would only be suggested if your molar was badly decayed, but would allow you to replace a rotten tooth with a brand new tooth.
The procedure for removing your wisdom teeth is pretty straightforward, and you can have all four wisdom teeth removed at once. Your dentist will numb your mouth with local anaesthetic and make a small incision at the site of each wisdom tooth. They will then remove the teeth and use dissolvable stitches to seal the wound sites.
You will be instructed on how to keep the wounds clean and minimise the risk of infection such as by washing your mouth out with saltwater several times a day. The stitches will dissolve in a few weeks and any swelling you have as a result of the extractions should go down after a few days, but you can contact your dentist if the swelling isn't subsiding or you're experiencing worsening pain.
It's not generally necessary to take time off work to have your wisdom teeth extracted, but if your job involves a lot of talking you may want to book your oral surgery at a time when you have a few days holiday from work.
If you think your wisdom teeth are beginning to emerge, schedule an appointment with your one of your dentists who can check you have enough room for them to come through or discuss extraction with you in more detail.