Wisdom Tooth Extraction in South Edmonton
What are Wisdom Teeth?
Your wisdom teeth are found far in the back of your mouth behind the molars. Don’t see them? Your wisdom teeth may not have surfaced yet. You likely have four wisdom teeth, one in each quadrant of the dental arches. Some of us, however, have less or more of these teeth!
Wisdom teeth typically emerge from the gums in the teen years, though exceptions can be found. These teeth are the largest we have, and they are supported by large root systems which increases their complexity.Dentigerous cysts are not an affliction that is common, however, the fact that they can result in damage to neighbouring teeth without warning in the form of symptoms makes regular checkups necessary to ensure the health of the structures in the back of the mouth. These cysts tend to develop at the tips of the roots of the wisdom teeth and can erode bone as they grow. If you notice any swelling in the mouth or if you see your teeth begin to shift, see your dentist right away.
Understanding Impacted Wisdom Teeth
Wisdom teeth have a tendency to get stuck in the process of trying to emerge from the gums. Dentists refer to these as impacted teeth. There are several reasons for impaction of the teeth to occur, beginning with scarcity of space. Because wisdom teeth are so large, they often can’t be accommodated along the dental arches. The result can be the teeth becoming stuck in the bone tissue, gum tissue, or both! Another kind of common impaction is one that leaves the tooth partially exposed while remaining partially covered by gum tissue.
When impacted teeth remain in the mouth, the result can be erosion of the root systems of the molars at the back of the mouth. For this reason, impacted wisdom teeth are typically removed before they have an opportunity to cause damage, but this is only possible with regular checkups including 3D digital imaging of the position of the teeth in proximity to their fully emerged neighbours.
Impacted teeth that remain partially covered become susceptible to infection. Being that the teeth are positioned so far back in the mouth, it is easy for food and bacteria to become trapped under the flap of tissue that covers it and infection can quickly take hold. You will know it’s time to see a dentist if you feel pain, swelling, difficulty opening the mouth or a bad taste that seems to weep from the back of the mouth. Leaving these infections to fester constitutes a health risk and may require antibiotics to treat the infection prior to removing the tooth.
Dealing with Tooth Infections and Impacted Wisdom Teeth
If you have not sustained an injury, you won’t likely see any bleeding from the mouth, but you may be feeling pain. Generally, if your toothache doesn’t respond to over-the-counter painkillers it is time to get in to see a dentist for an emergency appointment.
If you have an infection, signs other than pain may include swelling in the mouth, painful opening and closing of the mouth and a bitter or metallic taste coming from the site of the pain. If you have an abscess, you may see what looks like a white or yellow pimple on the gums. This should not be popped if it has not already burst on its own. If there is no evidence of a pimple, you may still have an infection that needs to be handled promptly.
Call your dentist’s office and request to be seen for an emergency appointment. We always leave appointment times available throughout the day to accommodate emergencies, but if we are unable to assist you due to demand, call another clinic and request to be seen. Do not delay being seen as tooth infections can be serious.
Hold an ice pack to the outside of the cheek and never use hot compresses on an infection as it will increase the level of pain you are experiencing.
Sinus and Nerve Complications Associated with Wisdom Teeth
If your tooth has been hit and has been knocked out or loose, you’ll need to see a dentist within 30 minutes for your best chance of saving the tooth. Make sure to keep any pieces of tooth that you can find and bring them with you to the dentist. The dentist may be able to restore the tooth using white filling product.
If your whole tooth has been knocked out, hold it at the top (not the root) and rinse it before trying to gently reinsert it into the socket and hold it in place by biting down gently. If the tooth cannot be reinserted, hold it in your cheek until you get to a dental clinic. Note that if a child has had a baby tooth knocked out it should not be reinserted as doing so can harm the adult tooth.
We are here to help! If you have questions about this or other services offered by our general dentist contact our clinic today.