Around thirty percent of people experience problems with their wisdom teeth. Pain symptoms can be severe and require extensive treatment, often to remove the teeth. This will generally be the best option, since other forms of treatment are only temporary measures to alleviate the symptoms rather than address the cause.
What are they?
Wisdom teeth are the four large teeth right at the back of your mouth, on both sides and top and bottom. They are also known as ‘third molars’. They tend to emerge during your late twenties or thirties – hence the name. In other cultures they are called ‘teeth of maturity’ and other variations.
Whereas other teeth usually grow fairly normally, you are disproportionately likely to have problems with wisdom teeth. The pain symptoms that result can take a wide variety of forms, and are not necessarily immediately identifiable as a wisdom tooth issue.
Wisdom teeth – pain symptoms and causes
Issues with the third molars are generally a result of them being ‘impacted’ or ‘partially erupted’, or both.
An impacted tooth is one that has not grown straight up out of the gum. Instead, it has grown at an angle. This means that it will often interfere with other teeth, perhaps growing into them and exerting pressure on them. Alternatively, it may grow out into the cheek, leading to ulcers and abrasion.
A partially erupted tooth is one that has not fully emerged from the gum. This means that the gum is prone to infection since there is opportunity for bacteria to get in and are one of the main reasons for extracting wisdom teeth.
Pain symptoms include swollen and red gums, toothache, headaches, and even pain that extends down the jaw and neck into the shoulder on that side.
If you are in prolonged pain or have an infection, you may need to have your wisdom teeth removed. Although infections can be and are treated with antibiotics in the first instance, they are likely to recur. Wisdom teeth may be removed if it looks like they will cause significant problems in the future.
The operation is often done under general anaesthetic, though local anaesthetic and sedation are sometimes used. It depends on how difficult they will be to remove. If they are badly impacted, for example, the procedure is more complex.
You may suffer a variety of complications after dental surgery, but your dentist will be able to advise you on these.
Many people have problems with their wisdom teeth. Pain symptoms are diverse, and the best treatment is often to remove the offending teeth so as to avoid future problems.
Source by Guy Brandon