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What Are Wisdom Teeth and Why are they Causing a Problem?

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Many thousands of years ago, the human being may have required an additional four teeth in order to function correctly. This may have been due to the specific type of food that homo sapiens required in order to survive, but evolution dictates that people no longer need these particular teeth for any purpose today. However, these teeth still exist, but rarely "erupt" into the mouth completely. For some agonising reason, they simply cause people issues and need to be pulled out by your dentist. Why do so-called wisdom teeth cause issues and why do you need to be careful with their treatment?

What's the Purpose?

Wisdom teeth develop differently in each individual. These third molars will usually attempt to break through the skin as an individual develops, but typically there just isn't enough room these days. The primary teeth will have developed more quickly and will have taken the place that may otherwise have been occupied by these spare teeth.

Impacted Problems

Dentists call this situation "impacted." This means that the teeth are blocked from moving in the direction that they need to by your gums, teeth, bone, tissue or all four together. This is a very slow-moving process and typically develops during adolescence. The teeth will try to find the path of least resistance and this means that they could move vertically, horizontally or even sideways. Many times this process does not cause any pain for the individual, and sometimes you won't even realise that the teeth are even there.

However, if part of the tooth starts to break through the surface of the gum, it's easy for bacteria to get in there and cause an infection. Inflammation results and causes pain and this can spread quickly.

Initial Treatment

The dentist is best placed to advise you what can be done in your specific circumstance. The first thing to do is to relieve you of any pain associated with the tooth or teeth and clear up the infection. Any debris that may be trapped is washed away and bacteria is eliminated. You might have to take some anti-inflammatory drugs and possibly an antibiotic to clear up the infection first.

What Can the Dentist Do?

Once things are back to normal it's likely that your dentist will recommend that you have these teeth removed, as otherwise, an infection may materialise again. A number of different techniques are available to help facilitate this and each case is assessed on its own merit.

Do You Need to Take Action?

If you are having no problems with your wisdom teeth, then it's best to leave them as they are and they may never cause you any issues. However, don't hesitate to get in touch with your dentist urgently, especially if you're in pain at the infection site.

Click here for more information on wisdom teeth extraction.