Removal of your Impacted Wisdom Teeth: Find Out More in this Guide
Wisdom teeth are usually the last ones to erupt. Generally we have four of them, two on the lower jaw and two on the upper jaw. For most people, these teeth emerge when they reach the age of seventeen to twenty-five years. However, it not uncommon to develop your wisdom teeth outside this age bracket. When one or more of these teeth lack enough space to grow in normally, it becomes impacted. In this article, you will read a guide on impacted wisdom teeth.
What are impacted wisdom teeth?
It is a tooth that erupts partly or doesn’t erupt at all. When a tooth erupts partially, it means that a half of the tooth structure stays hidden in the jawbone. It is normally called a partial bony impaction. If the whole tooth doesn’t erupt, a complete bony impaction, it remains covered by the jawbone. Some impacted teeth can only be treated via surgery due to being complicated because of its proximity to other anatomy in the jawbone. To learn the current condition of your impacted wisdom teeth, visit a your dentist who will take an x-ray to best evaluate your situation and what to do next.
Why do we develop impacted wisdom teeth?
The main reason why this teeth problem occurs is lack of enough jaw space behind the second molar. As well, if the rest of the teeth are misaligned, the wisdom teeth might never erupt or might erupt partially. While wisdom teeth are four (upper right and left and lower right and left), some people may have all of them while others may have just one or two. About twenty-five percent of people are estimated to lack one or more wisdom teeth. While it is not generally understood why lack of space exists, there seems to be a connection between having big tooth size and/or tooth crowding and having impacted wisdom teeth.
There are researchers who blame the incidence of third molar impaction on dietary changes in the modern society. When the modern man’s diet is compared to the stone-age man’s diet, it’s concluded that the latter’s required more chewing muscle activity. This muscle activity is believed to have aroused better jawbone growth, hence providing adequate space for wisdom teeth eruption. It is also assumed that because the early man ate coarse food that had the effect of generating extensive tooth damage and loss, teeth shifted forward leaving enough space for wisdom teeth to erupt. As you can see, it’s not extremely clear why wisdom teeth develop.
Who is affected by impacted wisdom teeth?
Any human being can have impacted teeth that can cause spontaneous pain. If the following three factors are present, chances are that your wisdom teeth will not grow properly. First, if your jaw bone lacks enough space for the wisdom teeth to erupt, then they won’t. Second, in case other teeth in your mouth blocks your wisdom tooth’s eruption path, it might fail to grow properly. Lastly, if the impacted tooth is angled or positioned improperly, it might fail to erupt or erupt partially. There are various types of impacted teeth positions: distal, mesial, vertical, horizontal, bony and soft tissue. The only way to know which of these impactions affect you is to see a dental specialist at URBN Dental to best decide the treatment needed for these specific situations.
Mesial means that your wisdom tooth points forward toward the front of your mouth and it is rather common. Vertical impactions tend to have a pretty normal orientation while the horizontal/transverse impacted teeth lie on their side. A distal or disto-angular impaction has a positioning that is often directed to the rear of the mouth. This is the most difficult tooth to remove while the vertical one is the easiest.
Fully-bony impactions are also called hard tissue impactions and refer to when a tooth lies mainly in the jawbone. This means that the tooth is totally enclosed by the bone tissue. If it’s a partial-bony tooth, it means that part of it is visible and the rest is hidden. A soft tissue impaction is the kind where the tooth’s crown has penetrated via the bone but has not totally erupted via your gum tissue. Fully-bony and partial-bony impactions are the hardest to treat and surgery is involved.
How do you treat impacted wisdom teeth?
If your dentist or oral surgeon asks you to remove your impacted wisdom tooth it should be considered due to possible infections and dental issues that may arise. This tooth can cause pain and if the tooth is partially erupted or fully erupted it could be hard to keep clean which means that plaque can accumulate beneath it over time and cause cavities, dental pain, and dental infections. This is particularly true for people with misaligned or mal-positioned teeth, partially erupted teeth or wanting teeth brushing habits. If there is a mass of plaque that is hard to remove, it will eventually lead to gum disease and tooth decay. There is imminent danger for the neighboring tooth as well, as it can decay and be subjected to removal.
The best way to treat impacted wisdom teeth is to remove them completely. As aforementioned, the ease of removal is this order: vertical, mesial, horizontal and distal impactions. The right thing to do right now is to head to URBN Dental and find out whether you have impacted teeth that are easier or harder to remove. If you will undergo dental surgery to remove teeth that are embedded to the jaw bone, you can have the option of having the procedure under local anesthetic, oral sedation, or general anesthesia. But for simpler wisdom tooth extractions, your dentist will use local anesthesia to numb the area being treated. After the surgical extraction process, the socket area is often treated to promote healing and further post op instructions will be given to you.
Then you will be asked to bite down on medicated gauze to reduce and end bleeding. It goes without saying that eating hard food or drinking sugary stuff is bad. You also need to rest to allow a blood clot to form in your socket as this mark the beginning of the healing process.
What are the symptoms of impacted wisdom teeth?
There are usually valid reasons or signs that you need to extract or treat your impacted wisdom teeth. You might not even know you have this problem until dental x-rays reveal it. All in all, here are a few reasons why you should seek treatment:
- You have an infection of the gum— periodontal disease or gingivitis
- Your tooth is decayed and it hurts
- You have pericoronitis
- You have tumors or cysts
- The dental specialist sees the risk of damage to your adjacent teeth
- You suffer from headaches, chronic pain or pressure
- Due to poor tooth alignment, you have developed some complications.
By having regular dental checkups, the above-mentioned symptoms can be found via X-rays and observation.