Our wisdom teeth were vital to our ancestors in the chewing of tough raw meat and vegetables. However, they are now somewhat obsolete due to our modern diets, and often cause more damage than good. This is because our jaws don't generally grow as big as they would have historically, and our wisdom teeth tend to get stuck beneath our gums, potentially causing infections, or pushing our other teeth out of alignment.
Apart from the lucky few born with none, most Australians today are unfortunate enough to be born with at least one wisdom tooth, and most wisdom teeth eventually require removal, often to prevent infection or gum disease. Due to this fact, most of us will need at least one wisdom tooth removed at some time in our lives. So, what are some signs that this time is nearing, or even now?
If you have ever wondered why your breath smells bad, or your mouth tastes weird, even when you brush twice a day, it may not be your hygiene that's the problem. Bad breath or a bad taste in your mouth is a sign that your wisdom teeth may be beginning to become infected. By going to a dentist and getting them checked soon, you may just be saving yourself from the usual pain and discomfort caused by infected wisdom teeth.
Pain around your gums, from the back of your jaw to your ear, or a throbbing pain in the back of your jaw are all common signs that your wisdom teeth may be impacted or infected. Generally though, if you have any teeth at all, new pain anywhere around them or your jaw should warrant a dentist visit.
Swelling of Your Neck or Jaw
If you have swelling around your jaw, going down your neck, or have tender lymph nodes, you should probably be concerned. These are symptoms of a serious wisdom tooth infection, and typically need to be taken care of right away, whether it's caused by a wisdom tooth or not.
If you do choose to have a wisdom tooth removed, you shouldn't fear the procedure, It's generally quite simple. First, the location is numbed with anaesthetic, then the gum above the tooth is opened. The tooth is then divided into smaller pieces to ease removal. After removal of the exposed tooth and root, your dentist will stitch closed the incision which was originally cut, and that's it. All you'll usually have to do is recover for a few days after the procedure.