Dealing With Wisdom Teeth

If your wisdom teeth have started to erupt (breakthrough) in your gums, you may be experiencing some problems. As both a private and an NHS Dentist here in York, our specialist team can help with a whole range of dental needs, and wisdom teeth are no exception. In this post, our Dentists will talk you through how to deal with your wisdom teeth and ensure your smile stays happy and healthy.

What are wisdom teeth?

Also known as third molars, these are the toughest type of teeth (for grinding food) and are the last to erupt, typically coming through between the ages of 17-21. In most cases, you’ll have four of them – two at the top and two at the bottom.

Why do we have wisdom teeth?

It’s been theorised that we have these teeth as ‘spares’, however, because modern dentistry and skilled Dentists aim to promote healthy smiles and to save your teeth where possible, there isn’t always space for them to emerge.

What kind of problems can they cause?

The most common problem with wisdom teeth is impaction. This is where the tooth doesn’t have space to grow out properly and can affect the other teeth in the mouth, causing pain and sometimes, lack of function in the mouth. Our NHS Dentists can advise you if this is the case. It’s also possible that you won’t have enough space to clean around the new wisdom tooth, and they could cause crowding issues or set your bite out of alignment. Finally, our Dentists warn that there can be occasions where an erupting wisdom tooth develops an infection, as plaque and bacteria can form even when some of the teeth are below the gumline. 

What’s the best option for my wisdom teeth?

Your dentist may need to remove them – however, these troublesome teeth don’t always come out cleanly in one piece. Whatever the situation, our NHS Dentists will ensure the tooth is removed as quickly and effectively as possible, while cleaning the socket and preventing bleeding after treatment. 

Does the treatment hurt?

With a local anaesthetic, the most you’ll feel is pressure in the mouth. Following the procedure, a little swelling and soreness are usual in the early days. Saltwater can be effective at cleaning and soothing the area. You may also have some bleeding, but this should stop relatively soon after the treatment. Our NHS Dentists recommend:

* Easing swelling and pain with a cold pack
* Staying hydrated (but no alcohol, hot drinks or fizzy pop for at least 24 hours)
* Soft foods only, while the area heals

Of course, smoking should also be avoided, as this can affect healing (not to mention cause many dental problems and other health concerns).

What if my tooth hasn’t broken through?

In these situations, your dentist may need to carry out oral surgery where the gum is cut and the tooth removed. Sometimes, the tooth needs to be broken before it’s removed so that the extraction hole is kept small.

Dental Practice in York

How do I book in?

Simply get in touch via our contact page and we’ll make an appointment for your treatment. Our skilled Dentists and NHS Dentists carry out extractions routinely, so you can rest assured you’re in safe and confident hands!