Otherwise known as our third molars, wisdom teeth are the final set of adult teeth to erupt in our mouth. However, due to our modern lifestyle, often they can cause a range of complications in the process.
Why do we have wisdom teeth?
In ancient times when the human diet was very different, wisdom teeth would have come in handy to replace other molars which may have been broken or lost through chewing on hard items, or even disease. However, thanks to our softer modern diets, and better oral hygiene awareness, for many people wisdom teeth aren’t necessary.
Why are wisdom teeth a problem?
For those who have a wide jaw, it is possible that your wisdom teeth will erupt with no problems at all. However, for those with a narrow jaw which is already quite crowded by their adult teeth, the eruption of wisdom teeth can be the catalyst for a whole raft of problems.
Why should wisdom teeth be removed?
It is only really necessary to remove wisdom teeth if there simply is not enough room in your mouth for them. For those with a crowding problem, when the wisdom teeth begin to come through they can begin to run into other teeth, which is known as impacted wisdom teeth. There are several varieties of impactions, but they all result in the third molar running into your second molar from one direction or another, causing quite severe pain. If this is ignored, it could result in a range of different problems including:
Damage – The second molar could be damaged, leading to gum disease, bone loss, decay and cavities.
Infection – The gum tissue could become infected and inflamed, resulting in swelling, pain, and problems eating and swallowing. If left untreated, the infection could spread throughout your body.
Disease – A cyst can form within the jawbone, which slowly grows, eventually destroying surrounding bone and even teeth.
Crowding – It is possible that impacted wisdom teeth could contribute to post-braces crowding in adults.
Symptoms of impacted wisdom teeth
Intense pain and soreness in the mouth, which may radiate to the ear and/or throat
Infection in the mouth
Swelling of the gum line in the back of the mouth
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, please contact us urgently!
Early intervention benefits
Quite often wisdom teeth can cause damage before you ever experience any pain to know there is a problem. Treatment can then become more difficult and time consuming. As such, Beyond Dental are proponents of actively monitoring the wisdom teeth, so that action can be taken as soon as it is apparent that they could become problematic in the future.
However, we also realise that sometimes life gets in the way, and your wisdom teeth may begin to cause you pain before you’ve been able to have them assessed. There’s no need to feel embarrassed if this is the case, but we recommend you call us as a matter of urgency so that we can help you to eliminate the pain you’re experiencing as soon as possible and stop your wisdom teeth from causing any further damage.
Does private health cover wisdom teeth removal?
The exact benefit you will receive is dependent on your insurance company, and your level of cover. In some cases, it is possible that your entire wisdom tooth removal could be covered. To be sure of your exact benefit, you will need to contact your insurance company personally.