Everything you need to know about wisdom teeth

4th May feature

For some, wisdom teeth can cause a whole host of issues, from jaw pain and headaches right through to red or swollen gums and bad breath – while others can go through the process with no problems at all.

Unlike many dental issues, problems with wisdom teeth aren’t usually down to your dental hygiene routine. Instead they’re often a result of limited space in the mouth – resulting in difficulties as the teeth try to come through.

Why do we have wisdom teeth?

With the huge number of problems that can result from wisdom teeth one might ask why we have them in the first place.

Anthropologists believe they were the evolutionary answer to our ancestor’s early diet of coarse, rough food, which required more chewing power.

Despite no need for them now, most of us do get our wisdom teeth between the ages of 18-21, but this can vary between patients. Some may find their wisdom teeth don’t come through at all.

In these cases the wisdom teeth are still there but they remain fully buried and can often be left alone.

Potential problems and solutions

While many can go through life with their wisdom teeth functioning and behaving exactly like any other tooth, some patients’ wisdom teeth only partially erupt – and this is where problems can occur.

Typical problems include:

  • Swelling of the gum, otherwise known as pericoronitis
  • Bad breath and tooth decay where bacteria and bits of food collect under the gum edge
  • Jaw pain and headaches from the pressure of your wisdom teeth

Some of these problems can be helped without having to remove your wisdom teeth.

For example, if you’re finding that food is getting trapped in your gums but you’re not suffering from tooth decay, regular use of a mouthwash is advisable.

As always, your dentist will be able to recommend the right mouthwash and treatment. If the problem continues they may suggest that it is better to have the tooth removed.

For swelling and soreness of gums, you could try using a mouthwash made up of cooled down boiled water with a teaspoon of salt. This should help to reduce the inflammation.

For headaches, regular pain relief such as paracetamol or ibuprofen may do the trick.

When to see your dentist

If you’re following the guidance above and still have problems it’s worth talking to us here at AP Smilecare.

We can take a closer look at your teeth and identify the root cause of the problem.

We’ll suggest the best course of action, which may well be wisdom tooth removal if you’re been suffering for a long time.

If you’re ever suffering from serious pain of discomfort from your wisdom teeth and it is clear that there’s not enough space in your mouth for them to sit properly, we will always recommend you have them removed.

Likewise, decayed wisdom teeth should always be removed to ensure good oral health.

If you’ve got a query about your wisdom teeth, or you’d like to discuss another dental problem, get in touch with AP Smilecare today. You can contact us on 01254 297 000

Have you had your wisdom teeth removed? If so, share the tell-tale signs that suggested they were causing problems. Leave your comments below or tweet us @APSmilecare

Posted on: 7th May, 2015