Wisdom Tooth Extractions

Here at Perfect Smile in Adelaide we can safely and effectively remove your painful wisdom teeth

Your wisdom teeth (known as molars) reside in the back of your mouth on each side of both the upper and lower jaw and are the last teeth to erupt.

When wisdom teeth erupt, some people have no complications while unfortunately others do.  This is because each person’s jaw structure is different and some people have more room for their wisdom teeth, while others don’t.  When the former happens, we refer to this as an impacted tooth.  If the jaw doesn’t have enough room for the new tooth, your tooth fails to completely erupt and stays inside the jaw bone.  In addition to insufficient space in the mouth, your wisdom tooth can become impacted if your jaw is misaligned or because your jaw bone and gums are tough, making it difficult for the wisdom tooth to penetrate the gum surface.

Can impacted teeth cause any problems?

Impacted teeth can cause a domino-like effect, resulting in a multitude of unpleasant and potentially serious oral health concerns.  The pain often associated with wisdom teeth is cyclical in nature, with the pain “coming and going”.  Even though the impacted teeth can reside harmlessly within the jaw comes for variable periods of time, over time, the associated problems can become more frequent and complicated.  As such you may experience any of problems below:

  • Gum inflammation – also known as “pericoronitis” which is when the tooth is partially covered by the gums. Food and bacteria begin gathering underneath this flap of overlying gum that can cause pain and inflammation.
  • Tooth decay of the impacted and adjacent teeth – Food may accumulate and lodge between the impacted teeth and the surrounding teeth, which can start the process of tooth decay.
  • TMD – Impacted wisdom teeth can cause jaw and muscle pain known as TMD (temporomandibular joint disorder).
  • Pathological lesions – Eventually, cysts may start to form around the impacted teeth and may begin to destroy the surrounding bone. These cysts may threaten vital structures such as the nerves within the root canal, infect gum tissue and eventually weaken the jaw bones. In extreme cases, this can cause a benign tumour.

For these reasons there is a general consensus that impacted wisdom teeth should be removed as they serve no functional purpose.

Wisdom tooth symptoms to look out for

There are a few warning signs that you can look out for which could be a sign that you may require wisdom teeth removal. These signs include:

  • Pain at the back of the mouth and behind the molars: This pain will gradually increase as your wisdom teeth grow sideways, pressing on nerves and bone, and crowding surrounding teeth.
  • Pain, redness, tenderness and/or swelling around the site: When your wisdom teeth start to erupt through the gum line, bacteria can enter the open tissue, resulting in infection. This can also affect your overall health as our oral hygiene and bodily health are closely related.

When should I remove my wisdom teeth?

Impacted teeth can be removed at any age, but it is generally agreed that removing wisdom teeth during the late teens/early twenties is advantageous since the tooth roots may not yet be completely formed, thus allowing for easier removal.  More importantly, the shorter the time impacted teeth remain in your jaw bones, the less the incidence of their potential complications.