Many years ago, the human jaw was much different than what it is today. In general, the jaw was larger, and the third set of molars helped our ancestors to grind up coarse foods. Over time, the human jaw has become smaller, and the third molars obsolete. However, the third molars, or wisdom teeth as they are called, still develop, even though they have been deemed vestigial organs by anthropologists. For some people, the wisdom teeth erupt without any issues. However, for many more, they cause serious problems. At National Dental Hicksville, we can help to ease the pain of your wisdom teeth with wisdom teeth removal.

What Causes Pain with Your Wisdom Teeth?

For some people, the wisdom teeth grow in just like any other teeth. However, for most people, the wisdom teeth are quite problematic. The wisdom teeth are the most common teeth to become impacted. An impacted wisdom tooth is one that cannot properly erupt. The tooth may not have enough room, it may be blocked, or it may be growing at an awkward angle. Whatever the reason for your impacted wisdom teeth, they can cause some serious issues:

  • Infections: In some cases, the wisdom tooth may only partially erupt. Partially erupted wisdom teeth are difficult to keep clean. As a result, bacteria build up and lead to an infection. These infections, known as pericoronitis, are localized to your affected wisdom teeth.
  • Overcrowding: As wisdom teeth try to emerge in a mouth that does not have enough space for them, they begin to push against your already existing teeth. As the wisdom teeth continue trying to emerge, they shove your teeth out of alignment.
  • Cysts: Cysts, which are fluid-filled sacs, can sometimes develop as a result of an impacted tooth. The longer they go untreated, the bigger they become, destroying your jawbone as they grow.
  • Damage to adjacent teeth: If your wisdom teeth are attempting to emerge at an angle, they can grow right into your adjacent teeth. This can lead to fractures in the teeth that can allow bacteria into your tooth, causing an infection.
Wisdom teeth removal at National Dental Hicksville

Diagnosing an Impacted Wisdom Tooth

A common symptom of an impacted wisdom tooth is a pain at the back of the mouth. However, to diagnose an impacted tooth, an oral exam needs to be completed. During this exam, we visually inspect the interior of your mouth, checking for signs of partially emerged wisdom teeth, swelling, or other signs of infection. We also take digital X-rays as a part of the diagnostic process. The X-ray images will allow us to see your wisdom teeth, cysts, and any damage to adjacent teeth. If we determine your wisdom teeth are impacted, we will then use your X-rays to create a treatment plan and schedule you for wisdom tooth removal.

Treating Wisdom Tooth Pain with Extraction

Wisdom teeth are not essential teeth, and extracting them is the best way to deal with them. There are two types of extractions. A simple extraction involves the use of forceps to wiggle the tooth and widen the socket. In most cases, however, a wisdom tooth will require a surgical extraction. This process is usually done under a local anesthetic, although sedation may be used if necessary. We then make incisions in your gums to expose the wisdom teeth and your jawbone. Next, we work to extract the tooth. If bone blocks it, we will remove the bone mass blocking it. In some cases, we may need to break the tooth to remove it completely. When the tooth is out, we will clean the socket and stitch your gums closed.

If your wisdom teeth are causing you serious issues, it is important that you seek help right away. Contact National Dental Hicksville at (516) 629-5086 to schedule your appointment today!