Those mysterious late bloomers that decide to make an appearance just when you thought you were done with all that “teething” business. They pop up at the back of your mouth, typically between 17 and 25 years old, and can sometimes be more of a pain than a boon. Why do they arrive so late to the party, and why do they sometimes bring along a heap of trouble?
What’s the Deal with Wisdom Teeth?
Back in the day, our ancestors needed every molar they could get for their diet of raw roots, leaves, and meat. Fast forward to today, and it turns out we really don’t need these extra grinders anymore. However, they still show up—sometimes all four, one in each corner of your jaw.
When Wisdom Teeth Turn Troublesome
Feeling the Squeeze: Impacted Wisdom Teeth
It’s a common story: wisdom teeth emerge but find there’s not enough room at the inn. When this happens, the teeth can get stuck or “impacted.” This can be more than just annoying—it can be painful and can lead to infection.
Crooked Molars: Misalignment Issues
Wisdom teeth aren’t always the best at following directions. Sometimes, they grow at odd angles, messing with the teeth next door. If they’re not playing nicely with their neighbours, it might be time to say goodbye.
Decay and Gum Disease: Hard-to-Reach Areas
Their far-back location in the mouth makes wisdom teeth tricky to clean, making them prime spots for decay and gum disease. So, if you’ve got them, make sure you’re also giving them a good scrub.
Diagnosis and Treatment
If your wisdom teeth are making you wince, a trip to the dentist is in order. They’ll normally perform an X-ray to get a better idea of what’s going on behind the scenes.
The Big Extraction
For many, the best way to deal with troublesome wisdom teeth is to simply take them out. It sounds scarier than it is and usually helps avoid further complications down the line.
If extraction isn’t on the cards just yet, there are ways to manage the pain. From over-the-counter remedies to prescription meds, you’ve got options.
Any Alternatives to Yanking Them Out?
Some people are candidates for less drastic measures like coronectomy or tooth shaving.
Here, the tooth’s crown is removed but the root stays put. This is often done when there’s a risk of nerve damage due to the root’s location.
In certain cases, shaving down the tooth can solve the problem if it’s not causing too much chaos.
Wisdom teeth are a curious part of our dental history. While they serve little purpose for us now, they can cause a variety of problems. If you find yourself in a wisdom tooth predicament, don’t hesitate to call Welling Dental on 020 8303 7445.