Unfortunately, most adults will experience problems with their wisdom teeth in their lifetime, either from infections, impaction, resorption, gum disease or decay. It’s no wonder that dentists often remark that there is no wisdom in wisdom teeth!
Wisdom teeth infections feel like a deep, dull ache in the back of the jaw. Occasionally, the pain can be referred and spread toward other teeth, the front of the jaw, the ear or the temples. They can also cause the lymph nodes around the neck and jaws to become swollen and tender and even occasionally spread in the body to cause more serious or life threatening infections. If you are experiencing pain or swelling from a wisdom tooth infection, you can contact us for a same day appointment as an emergency patient.
So why are wisdom teeth so susceptible to infection? Modern day adults have small jaws relative to the number of teeth we have, often leaving the wisdom teeth (the last teeth to develop) with very little room to grow in our jawbones. As a result, wisdom teeth are often impacted, meaning they get stuck in the jaw bone in an irregular position. When they come up through the gums, this irregular positioning can form deep gum pockets around the wisdom teeth, perfect for harbouring food particles and infection producing bacteria. This common infection around wisdom teeth is called pericoronitis and can be treated by removal of the bacteria with a deep gum cleaning or, more permanently, by removal (extraction).
Wisdom teeth can also create problems when they grow forwards into the neighbouring teeth, possibly resulting in decay or root damage to these healthy neighbouring teeth. This may result in the loss of these teeth too and lead to other orthodontic issues such as misaligned teeth and a ‘bad bite’.
Wisdom Teeth Removal
With problems such as recurrent infections, usually the best solution is wisdom teeth removal*. Wisdom teeth removal is a relatively common procedure, carried out on many patients.
However, the degree of the impactions and the complexity of the extractions varies enormously between individuals. Whilst some people can have their wisdom teeth removed quickly, easily and painlessly under local anaesthetic, others may have to have their extractions performed under general anaesthesia in a hospital setting.
Our experienced dentists at North Sydney Dental Practice can assess your wisdom teeth and advise the safest and most appropriate options for you. Depending on the problem, the degree of impaction, the size, shape and position of the teeth and the number of teeth to be removed, this wisdom teeth extractions can be conducted under local anaesthetic, under IV sedation in the practice, or under general anaesthetic in hospital.
These options should be discussed with our team and you will be provided will all the necessary information to feel comfortable with your procedure. Contact our caring team at North Sydney Dental Practice to arrange an assessment for you or a member of your family regarding wisdom teeth removal in North Sydney.
*Any surgical or invasive procedure carries risk. Before proceeding, you should seek a second opinion from an appropriately qualified health practitioner.