What are impacted wisdom teeth?

Impacted wisdom teeth occur when the back molars are stuck beneath the gum or don’t have space to erupt through the gum.

If you have noticed pain and swelling of the jaw or face, or your gums are swollen and tender, it could be a sign that you have an impacted wisdom tooth. Wisdom teeth become impacted when there is not enough room for them to erupt through the gum or when the teeth get stuck under the gum. Sometimes, impacted wisdom teeth don’t cause any issues, while infection can occur in other cases. When a tooth becomes infected, it can lead to considerable pain and discomfort and a number of oral health issues. Read on to find out what causes an impacted wisdom tooth and how it can be resolved…

What causes an impacted tooth?

In most cases, wisdom teeth are impacted because of inadequate space in the jaw. A wisdom tooth can sometimes become impacted when it grows at the wrong angle.

Although impacted wisdom teeth don’t always cause symptoms, they can lead to complications such as infection, tooth decay, crowding of the surrounding teeth, cysts, gum disease and damage to nearby teeth. It can be difficult to brush and floss impacted teeth correctly, which can make it difficult to maintain proper oral hygiene.

Although it is not possible to prevent an impacted tooth, wisdom teeth are not necessary for our modern diets. If wisdom tooth impaction is causing you discomfort or oral health issues, it is advisable to have your wisdom teeth removed. Wisdom teeth removal can help to prevent a number of problems from developing and will alleviate any pain caused as a result of infection. Even if you don’t experience any symptoms, your dentist or oral surgeon may advise that you undergo wisdom teeth surgery.

How are impacted wisdom teeth resolved?

If you have been diagnosed with impacted wisdom teeth, your dentist or oral surgeon may recommend that you have them surgically removed.

During the procedure, an incision will be made in your gums through which any problematic bone and the impacted tooth will be removed. Depending on the case, the tooth may need to be removed in one piece or sectioned into smaller pieces prior to removal. The incision will be stitched closed, and gauze will be placed at the site of surgery.

What does recovery involve?

After you have been through a wisdom tooth extraction procedure, it is completely normal to experience some discomfort, swelling and bleeding around the site of surgery. Your surgeon will prescribe some medications to help manage any pain that you feel. You will need to stick to a diet of liquid and soft foods for around a week or so following surgery while your mouth heals.

How can we help?

At OMFS, we offer a number of oral surgeries, including wisdom tooth extraction. The procedure is very common and can go a long way in preventing complications and improving overall oral health. Untreated wisdom teeth can cause considerable pain and a range of other problems, including infection, tooth decay, and damage to the surrounding teeth and gums.

If you would like to make an appointment, please get in touch with us here. We specialise in oral and maxillofacial surgery. Besides wisdom teeth extraction, we also offer surgical removal of teeth, exposure of teeth, implants and grafting, and face and jaw surgery. To see the full list of procedures that we offer, please have a look here.