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Should You Have Your Wisdom Teeth Removed?


Wisdom teeth have been known to cause trouble for a long time. Why then do we need them?

People think that our ancestors’ jaws were bigger and had more teeth. But as evolution has happened, our mouths have gotten smaller and smaller, making it hard for us to fit the extra teeth in as adults.

Adults can have as many as 32 teeth, with the last ones coming in at the very back of the mouth. Most people get these between the ages of 17 and 25, but sometimes they can happen even later. Some of us will never get wisdom teeth, but most people do, and they are usually placed in the four corners of the mouth.

Since our jaws and mouths have shrunk, it can cause a number of problems. Most of the time, the wisdom tooth will grow in sideways, partially, or get stuck under the gum. If you’ve ever had any of these problems, you know how painful it can be when they lead to an infection (pericoronitis).

Pericoronitis is an inflammation of the gum tissue that happens when part of a wisdom tooth breaks through the gum and makes a flap above the tooth. This lets bacteria build up under the gum, which makes it hard to clean the area well and leads to irritation and infection.

Signs that you might have pericoronitis:

  • Painful and swollen gum tissue surrounding the area of the affected tooth.
  • Difficulty opening your mouth.
  • Pain when biting and chewing food.
  • A bad smell or taste in the mouth.
  • Discharge of pus from the affected gum tissue.
  • Swelling on the affected side of the face.
  • Muscle spasms in the jaw.
  • Swollen lymph nodes under the chin.

How to tell if a wisdom tooth is infected:

Pericoronitis can be diagnosed by a dentist based on the above symptoms, and x-rays are usually taken to find out where the root is and if there is enough space for the tooth to grow into a stable position.

Treatment of an infected wisdom tooth:

After having your wisdom teeth taken out, you will probably feel some pain and swelling. How long it takes to get better depends on how badly your wisdom tooth was stuck or infected. Most of the time, it takes 3 to 4 days, but it can take up to two weeks.

Painkillers like ibuprofen, which can be bought over the counter or with a prescription, can help ease the pain. Putting an ice pack on your jaw can help reduce swelling and pain by reducing inflammation. During the first few days after surgery, it’s also important to stay away from solid foods, alcohol, and hot drinks so that your gums can heal.

Your dentist will tell you how to keep your mouth clean after both surgery and non-surgery treatments so that you don’t get another infection.

For more information, contact The Gallery Dental on 0118 9351 505

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