Wisdom Teeth

Your wisdom teeth, especially the lower wisdom teeth, cause more problems than any other teeth in the mouth. It is not uncommon that a lower wisdom tooth causes acute symptoms at the stage when only a part of the crown has broken through the gum. If plaque is accumulated under the loose piece of gum still covering the rest of the emerging wisdom tooth, there could be a period of pain, swelling and in late stages even give the patient difficulty opening the mouth properly, due to infection. Provided that there is enough vertical space for the tooth to erupt through the soft tissue, it will settle down. In the acute phase, the area is cleaned and an antiseptic mouthwash is prescribed, at times in combination with an antibiotic. Should the lower wisdom teeth erupt more or less in line with the rest of the teeth and there is no difficulty for you to clean the wisdom teeth, there is no immediate need to have the lower wisdom teeth removed.

However, quite often lower wisdom teeth grow in such a way that they remain underneath the gum although a part of the tooth has broken through the bone. This situation is best resolved by surgically removing the wisdom tooth, to prevent anything happening to the tooth immediately in front of the wisdom tooth.

Wisdom tooth removal in the lower jaw in an absolute majority of cases is a surgical procedure, while surgery is not normally required for removing an upper wisdom tooth – at least not on an adult.

Problems with impacted wisdom teeth

Wisdom teeth, or third molars, are the last permanent teeth to appear. These teeth usually erupt between the ages of 17 and 25. Some people never develop wisdom teeth. For others, wisdom teeth erupt normally, just as their other molars did and therefore, they do not cause any problems.

Many people, however, have impacted wisdom teeth — teeth that do not have enough room to erupt or grow normally.

An impacted wisdom tooth may:

  • Grow at an angle towards the next tooth (second molar)
  • Grow at an angle towards the back of the mouth
  • Grow at a right angle to the other teeth, as if the wisdom tooth is “lying down” within the jawbone
  • Grow straight up or down like other teeth but never break through the jawbone

You will most likely need your impacted wisdom tooth removed if it results in problems such as:

  • Pain
  • Infection
  • Damage to an adjacent tooth
  • Development of a cyst (fluid-filled sac) around the wisdom tooth
  • Damage to the surrounding bone

If you have any problems with your wisdom teeth, please Contact Us at our Puerto Banus, Marbella based dental clinic.