What Are Wisdom Teeth?

Wisdom teeth are the last molars on each side of the jaws. They are the last teeth to emerge, or erupt, usually when a person is between 16 and 20.                                                                                                                                             wisdom teeth

Since wisdom teeth are the last permanent teeth to come through, or erupt, there may not be enough room left in your mouth to accommodate them. This can lead to impacted wisdom teeth – teeth that are trapped beneath the gum tissue by other teeth or bone. If teeth are impacted, swelling and tenderness may occur. Some people experience repeated infections in the mouth due to wisdom teeth, known as pericoronitis.  This can range from mild pain for a few days to a full blown abscess with severe pain and swelling.

Wisdom teeth that only partially emerge or come through crooked may also lead to painful crowding and disease. Since teeth removed before age 20 have less developed roots and fewer complications, consult your dentist to have your wisdom teeth evaluated to see if they need to be removed.

Wisdom teeth can be more difficult to clean due to their position at the back of the mouth and they may not be growing in line with the other teeth.  It is important to maintain good oral hygiene measures and to see a dental hygienist on a regular basis to assist you.

Do Wisdom Teeth Have To Be Removed?

It is commonly thought that wisdom teeth need to be extracted.  This was commonplace in the past with it being thought that by removing wisdom teeth, it would prevent future problems in the mouth.  However the latest research and guidelines do not support this and only advise wisdom teeth to be removed if you experience repeated pain or infection, or there is disease in the mouth due to a wisdom tooth.

How are Wisdom Teeth Removed?

A tooth extraction is a relatively routine procedure. Your dentist will recommend, either numbing this area in your mouth with local anaesthesia (in a similar way to having a filling; alternatively intravenous sedation may be used to make you more relaxed or you may be referred to a hospital department for treatment whilst “going to sleep” using general anaesthesia.

Removal of wisdom teeth due to crowding or impaction should not affect your bite or oral health in the future.

At Brightside Dental we have an oral surgeon, Shahrokh who works with us and undertakes the more difficult extraction cases including those of wisdom teeth.  If you have been experiencing any discomfort with your wisdom teeth and would like further advice give us a call on 020 88884401


Ketan Shah