The Impacted Wisdom Tooth

Have you had pain from the back part of your lower jaw that always seems to come and go?

There is a possibility that you may have an impacted wisdom tooth.

WHAT IS AN IMPACTION?

An impacted wisdom tooth occurs when there is insufficient space for the last tooth in your jaw to erupt into your mouth. It usually results in recurrent pain if the area around the tooth gets infected or irritated by constant food packing.

WISDOM TOOTH

Your wisdom teeth or third molars are the last set of teeth to come into your mouth. They usually erupt around the age of 17 to 25. They are the most frequently impacted teeth in the adult jaw.

A good number are usually asymptomatic and a chance finding when radiographs are taken during your dental appointment.

If pain ensues, treatment will be needed immediately depending on the severity of impaction.

SYMPTOMS

Impacted wisdom teeth don’t always cause symptoms. However, when it becomes infected, damages other teeth or causes other dental problems, you may experience some of these symptoms:

  • Red or swollen gums
  • Tender or bleeding gums
  • Jaw pain
  • Swelling around the jaw
  • Bad breath
  • An unpleasant taste in your mouth
  • Difficulty opening your mouth

TREATMENT OF IMPACTED WISDOM TOOTH

Not all impacted teeth need to be removed. The decision to remove is dependent on the severity of infection and the presence of symptoms.

Asymptomatic impaction that will not potentially damage an adjacent tooth will usually be left alone.

If the impaction is just from your gum, that section of your gum will be surgically removed to allow ease of cleaning all around your tooth.

In symptomatic cases, a surgical removal of the tooth is usually the best option; this will involve numbing the jaw and sometimes an incision may be made to remove the obstructing bone.

Treatment usually lasts between 15 and 45mins and you will be able to go home on the same day.

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