Wisdom teeth removal

A wisdom tooth or a third molar is an impacted tooth which gets blocked as it erupts or pushes through the gum into the mouth. They usually begin to come in between the age of 17-21 years. Usually there is no space left in the mouth to accommodate them so they get blocked .Hence they become tilted in the jaw or might come in sideways. They don't cause pain normally but, when they push through the gum, the gum flap swells and gets infected causing pain on that side of the face, ear or to the adjacent teeth. Sometimes the infection may spread to the neck and throat regions if left untreated. The wisdom tooth may have cavities and because of their peculiar position might cause tooth decay and gum diseases.

An immediate swelling in the gum, pain when opening the mouth and eating and possible difficulties in movement of the jaws are possible indications of coming up of a wisdom tooth. More often x-rays are to be taken for confirming the presence of wisdom tooth. Although cavities and other problems can be taken care of by proper oral hygiene, wisdom tooth cannot be prevented.

The only treatment possible is the extraction of the wisdom tooth. Prior to removal of the tooth, the oral and maxillofacial surgeon decides the surgical procedure needed and the type of anesthetic to be used. There may be swellings in the jaw and cheekbones etc after the surgery. Hard foods are to be avoided. Although the wisdom tooth may not affect the nearby teeth or bother you much it is recommended to have them extracted before they come up. It is advisable to have the wisdom tooth extracted before the age of 21 years, so that the tissues and bones heal quickly and to avoid future complications.