Wisdom Teeth Surgery

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Wisdom teeth are the third molars. Generally all of us will have four of them. They appear around 18 to 21-years of age but quite often they appear later because they are delayed somehow, usually by impaction.

 

This is to say the wisdom teeth develop in an angulated position as they have no proper space to erupt properly. Being the very last tooth in the back of one's mouth they are notoriously difficult to keep clean and when impacted in an angulated position it is much worse. Infection of the surrounding soft tissues is the most common problem but there can also be decay occurring behind the second molar or on the wisdom molar itself,causing pain or destroying a tooth that is useful to you.

Sometimes the pain goes away but is bound to return with more frequency and intensity usually at the most inconvenient time like during an exam or on an overseas trip. This indicates that one should not wait any longer. Sometimes the infection is so bad it can begin to choke off one's air supply at the throat. Occasionally the infection spreads to the face and swells up. The pain of the infection prevents the full opening of ones mouth making eating and swallowing difficult.

Generally most wisdom teeth will need to be removed eventually and usually by surgery. In our clinic a specialist Oral Surgeon will be consulted to perform the necessary operation to remove the offending tooth, usually under Local Anaesthetic and occasionally under Intra Venous Sedation where a Specialist Anesthesiologist is called to attend the surgery.

Symptoms of infected Wisdom tooth:

  • Bad breath
  • Difficulty opening the mouth (occasionally)
  • Pain or tenderness of the gums (gingiva) or jaw bone
  • Prolonged jaw ache
  • Swelling/abscess of the gums around the impacted tooth
  • Swollen lymph nodes of the neck (occasionally)
  • Unpleasant taste when biting down on or near the area
  • (Dental x-rays needed to confirm the presence of impacted teeth)
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