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The main function of our teeth is biting and chewing food. Ideally, biting and tearing food is the function of the incisors and canines, which are the anterior teeth, whereas chewing is done by the premolars and molars. The wisdom teeth are the last set of molars to emerge when the individual is in their late teens or early twenties.
Sometimes, wisdom teeth do not emerge normally as all other teeth do. They tend to get ‘impacted’, or in simple words, get stuck in between the gums and jawbone. This condition can be highly painful, lead to infections, and upset one’s oral health considerably. Hence, we as dentists recommend impacted wisdom teeth to be removed at the earliest to prevent further complications.
What are the symptoms of an impacted wisdom tooth?
- Pain: Since the wisdom tooth gets stuck in between the jawbone and gums, it can put pressure on both of them and lead to severe pain. The pain would be excruciating in certain cases when you brush the teeth or chew food.
- Damage to the nerves: The nerve endings that are present near the tooth root would get damaged due to the inflammation. This can make the tooth very sensitive to hot and cold foods and result in a sharp tingling sensation.
- Risk of infection: The impacted tooth could trap a lot of microbes near the gum line. This can give rise to gum diseases such as gingivitis and periodontitis. If left untreated for a long time. The infection could spread to the nearby gums, teeth, and jawbone as well.
- Swelling: The affected region would swell up due to the response of the immune system. The cheeks would look swollen up, which would ruin your facial aesthetics.
- Jawbone deterioration: Over a period of time, the jawbone suffers damage and could start to wear off gradually.
What are the types of wisdom teeth impaction?
- Complete impaction: Most parts of the wisdom tooth would’ve emerged out of the gums, but not fully. It can be quite a painful condition, especially when anything comes in contact with the tooth.
- Partial impaction: The tooth would’ve emerged out of the gums only a little, after which it would’ve been ‘stuck’. It may have to be cut into pieces before being extracted.
- Soft tissues impaction: The wisdom tooth would be stuck under the gums itself, which can put the surrounding gums and jawbone at risk as well.
Wisdom tooth extraction
All tooth extractions will be performed under the influence of local anesthesia to reduce pain and discomfort. In the case of soft tissue impaction, the tooth will be exposed by cutting a slit on the gums. In most cases, the tooth would be gripped using forceps and pulled out in one firm pull. But, in the case of complicated extractions, the tooth may have to be cut into smaller fragments and extracted. Suitable medication will be given to ease the pain and heal the extraction site.
Call us at 480-888-8123 or schedule an online appointment to have a consultation with our family dentist, Dr. Matheson, who serves the dental needs of Queen Creek and also the adjoining cities such as San Tan Valley, Gilbert, etc.