Nobody really knows why wisdom teeth are so-called. Some people think that is it is because they typically start to "erupt" through the skin in the late teens to early 20s, when adults typically mature. Whatever they are called, however, they can frequently cause trouble. What do you need to know about these molars, if you're experiencing some issues?

What Are These "Extra" Teeth?

Wisdom teeth are sometimes known as "third" molars. In some people, they break through the skin without any problem at the very rear of the mouth. In many people, however, there simply isn't enough room, maybe due to the way that the rest of the teeth have developed through puberty and adolescence. Either way, these third molars will continue to grow and "try" and erupt through the skin.

Impacted Teeth

When they are unable to do so, this is known as being impacted. Essentially, they are blocked from moving in the way they need to by the bone, teeth, gums and tissue. This process can take a long time to develop and during this time these teeth can move in various different directions, horizontally, vertically and tangentially. Sometimes, you will know that there is a problem developing, but other times this entire process can be completely painless.

Being Careful with Infection

Either way, you will need to be evaluated by the dentist to see exactly what can be done. It's unfortunate, but when pain is evident this means that there is a lot of inflammation in the site already. It could be that infection is beginning to permeate the gum tissues around the tooth.

Treatment for Pain

If you visit your dentist with pain caused by an impacted wisdom tooth, the first thing to be done is to relieve the pain and the infection. This is normally gently washed out to get rid of any debris that may be trapped or bacteria and this will be done under local anaesthetic. You will normally be advised to take over-the-counter anti-inflammatory drugs and may be prescribed an antibiotic to clear the infection if needed.

What Should You Do?

Dentists have many techniques available to them these days to help with wisdom tooth removal as needed. You don't have to have your wisdom teeth removed just as a matter of principle, but if they are causing infections and pain then this is the likely end result.

Planning the Next Step

Have a chat with your dentist to see how they want to proceed in your case.