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Wisdom teeth are molars which are the last adult teeth to develop in the mouth. Most people have four wisdom teeth at the back of the mouth — 1 in each corner.
They usually start to appear in gums in late teens, early twenties, but it can also be quite common to appear later. By this time, there are already 28 adult teeth in the mouth and so the development of wisdom teeth can often be impacted by restricted space, causing problems as they grow. Wisdom teeth can sometimes emerge at an angle or get stuck and only partially emerge. Teeth that grow through like this are known as impacted.
When to see a Sturminster Dental Care dentist
Impacted wisdom teeth don't always cause symptoms. However, when an impacted wisdom tooth becomes infected, damages other teeth or causes other dental problems, you may experience some of these signs or symptoms:
Red or swollen gums
Tender or bleeding gums
Swelling around the jaw
An unpleasant taste in your mouth
Difficulty opening your mouth
As with any teeth problems, if you are experiencing any of these symptoms it's important to book an appointment at Sturminster Dental Care to see a dentist as soon as possible, rather than waiting for routine dental health review.
What can I do to help relieve the discomfort of wisdom teeth?
A mouthwash of medium-hot water with a teaspoonful of salt will help to reduce gum soreness and inflammation. Swish the salt water around the tooth, trying to get into the areas your toothbrush cannot reach. Do this several times a day.
An antibacterial mouthwash containing chlorhexidine can also reduce the inflammation. Pain-relieving tablets such as paracetamol or ibuprofen can also be useful in the short term, but talk to us at Sturminster Dental Care if the pain continues.
Why are wisdom teeth removed?
If your wisdom teeth are impacted but not causing any problems, you don't usually need to be remove them. This is because there's no proven benefit of doing this and it carries the risk of complications.
Sometimes, wisdom teeth that have become impacted or haven't fully broken through the surface of the gum can cause dental problems. Food and bacteria can get trapped around the edge of the wisdom teeth, causing a build-up of plaque, which can lead to several problems in the mouth:
- Damage to other teeth. If the wisdom tooth pushes against the second molar, it may damage the second molar or increase the risk of infection in that area. This pressure can also cause problems with crowding of the other teeth or require orthodontic treatment to straighten other teeth.
- Cysts. The wisdom tooth develops in a sac within the jawbone. The sac can fill with fluid, forming a cyst that can damage the jawbone, teeth and nerves.
- Decay. Partially impacted wisdom teeth appear to be at higher risk of tooth decay than other teeth. This probably occurs because wisdom teeth are harder to clean and because food and bacteria get easily trapped between the gum and a partially erupted tooth.
- Gum disease. The difficulty cleaning impacted, partially erupted wisdom teeth increases the risk of developing a painful, inflammatory gum disease in that area.
Many of these problems can be treated with antibiotics, antiseptic mouthwash and a good oral hygiene regime.
Wisdom teeth removal is very common, but usually only recommended when other treatments haven't worked.
How are wisdom teeth removed?
If your Sturminster Dental Care dentist recommends removing your wisdom teeth, they'll take an X-ray of your mouth to help them determine who should carry out the procedure. Your dentist may remove your wisdom teeth, or they may refer you to a specialist surgeon for hospital treatment.
Before the operation, we’ll fully explain the procedure to you.
A local anaesthetic injection is usually given to numb the area around the tooth. You'll feel some pressure just before the tooth is removed, as your dentist or oral surgeon needs to widen the tooth socket by rocking the tooth back and forth.
A small cut in the gum is sometimes necessary, and the tooth may need to be cut into smaller pieces before it's removed.
It takes anything from a few minutes to 20 minutes, or sometimes even longer, to remove a wisdom tooth.
After your wisdom teeth have been removed, you may have swelling and discomfort, both inside and outside your mouth. Occasionally, some mild bruising is also visible. This is usually improves after 3 days, but it can take up to 2 weeks. If this continues for longer, or progresses, please get in touch with the team at Sturminster Dental Care as soon as possible.
You can't keep an impaction from occurring but keeping your regular dental appointments for cleaning and reviews enables your dentist to monitor the growth and emergence of your wisdom teeth. Regularly updated dental X-rays may indicate impacted wisdom teeth before any symptoms develop.
If you have any concerns about your wisdom teeth, or are experiencing any pain, give us a call on 01258 473397.
People are talking about us
The biggest complement we receive is when our patients refer their friends and family to Sturminster Dental Care. In fact, we have built much of our practice on these valued, trusted recommendations over the years. Read our reviews to hear why our patients are recommending us…
My wife and I made our first visit as new patients. First impressions were very favourable on both the dental and admin side
Absolutely amazing dentist. Every single member of staff is wonderful, sweet and kind. Highly recommend. 10/10!
I have been going to Sturminster Dental Care for years , it’s amazing. Always get a warm welcome and Ian & Helen are Brilliant looking after my teeth . Wouldn’t go anywhere else and recommend them highly
Absolutely first class dental care from an extremely courteous and professional team. A trip to the dentist isn’t exactly everyone’s ideal place to visit, but all the staff here will make you feel totally at ease, and for me, have completely taken the fear factor away from the occasion. I’ve visited a few dental surgeries over the years, and this is the best by quite some distance. Top class service from a top class team. Thank you!
I have not relaxed in a dental chair for years . I was always apprehensive and anxious. Brian has a great bed side manner and for the first time in years I relaxed . It was almost pleasant ! Thank you for ‘putting me back together again’ Tim
I don't usually do reviews but in this instance I have only but compliments for this Dental Practice. From the Receptionist to the actual Dental Teams everybody is so pleasent and reassuring. I appreciate attending a Dentist can be stressful for some but this Practice makes the visit as comfortable as possible.
I visited Olga today and was so impressed with her and all of the team. I would highly recommend this dentist practice. It's all about what is best for you. Very friendly, understanding and I feel confident they really care about their patients.
Always on time with appointments, friendly and welcoming staff. A pleasure to be one of your clients ✨️.
Great dentist sorted out my problem straight away would recommend to anyone
Very patient and very trustworthy. Always friendly and calming for both scared adults and children.
Very friendly and efficient staff, an excellent dental practice.
My tooth broke yesterday due to a cancellation I was able to be treated today friendly professional quick service couldn’t have asked for more
The staff and dentists are brilliant and so caring
Sturminster Dental Care offer a high standard of dentistry and you feel that you're in safe hands. This is backed up by a professional and very friendly team who provide a warm welcome at each point of contact. The facilities are well designed and comfortable and there is free parking outside.
Friendly and professional
Excellent practice, would recommend to all, as a nervous patient, they put me at ease, and I do not dread going to have treatment.
Great practice. You feel valued as an individual patient. Very professional, friendly and punctual.
Excellent, professional and friendly Dental Practice. Thank you.
Efficient, calm and polite service which makes going to the dentist not such an ordeal! All lovely and helpful staff.
Very professional team and staff.
Absolutely superb practice in every way! Thoroughly recommend
Ian and staff are brilliant ..Recommend it for all.
Excellent visit as always, Ian is always so pleasant and reassuring.
Excellent dentists. Clean, friendly and Covid safe
Very good care from Olga
I don't think I have ever had such a comfortable and friendly dental experience. Ian took the time to explain all my options and treatments and made me feel fairly optimistic about the outcome. The reception staff were very welcoming and helpful
It was great to be fitted in so quickly, as I had indicated that I was in pain, and the receptionist worked hard to find a slot for me. Overall, an efficient service, with friendly, accommodating staff. The dentist worked quickly to identify the problem and begin treatment.
Always time to talk 'teeth' and never feeling rushed
Excellent service - friendly team