Humans typically have 32 teeth. The last four of these teeth to erupt are the wisdom teeth, which show up in your late teens to early 20s. Some people have these teeth emerge with no issues at all. For many people, however, they cause a significant amount of pain and other issues. At National Dental Melville, we can perform wisdom tooth removal to alleviate these issues and restore the health to your mouth.

A Brief History of Wisdom Teeth

Many, many years ago, the human jaw was larger. The third set of molars fit perfectly into the mouth and served an important purpose. They helped to break down the coarse foods that humans ate. The development of cooking made these foods much easier to eat, essentially rendering the wisdom teeth obsolete. Over time, the jaw began to shrink, but the wisdom teeth continue to develop. Anthropologists have labeled them as vestigial organs.

What Causes Wisdom Tooth Pain?

There are some people who never have any issues with their wisdom teeth. However, there are numerous people who do. The wisdom teeth can be a significant source of pain. The most common issue with your wisdom teeth is that they become impacted. This means that they do not properly emerge through the gums. In some instances, they are blocked. In others, they grow sideways. When your wisdom teeth are impacted, they can cause serious issues:

  • Cysts. Cysts can develop as a result of impaction. These fluid-filled sacs grow when they are untreated, and destroy the bone mass in their path.
  • Pericoronitis. In some cases, a wisdom tooth may only partially erupt through the gums. This can make the area very difficult to keep clean. Oral bacteria and food particles collect here, causing a localized infection known as pericoronitis.
  • Overcrowding. If there is not enough space in your jaw for your wisdom teeth, but they attempt to erupt, they will put pressure on the teeth already in their proper locations. This can force your teeth out of their natural positions, causing overcrowding.
  • Damage to adjacent teeth. If your teeth are growing sideways toward adjacent teeth, they can cause damage to the teeth they hit. Your adjacent teeth may be faced with fractures and infection.

How Are Impacted Wisdom Teeth Diagnosed?

Impacted teeth need to be diagnosed before treatment can be done. At National Dental, treatment for impacted teeth starts with a thorough oral exam. We check inside your mouth for redness, swelling and other signs of an infection. We will also take digital X-rays, which will allow us to see the structures below your gum line. We can view the actual development of your wisdom teeth along with any cysts that may have formed. If your wisdom teeth are impacted, we will schedule you for a wisdom tooth extraction.

Extracting Your Wisdom Teeth

There are two types of tooth extraction. A simple extraction involves gripping the tooth and widening the periodontal ligament, allowing us to simply pull the tooth out. Most wisdom tooth extractions, however, require a surgical extraction. After a local anesthetic (and sedation, if necessary), we make incisions in your gum tissue, exposing the wisdom teeth and the jawbone. We then get to work removing the teeth. This may involve the removal of a small amount of bone. The teeth may need to be broken into segments to extract them fully. When we are finished, we clean the spaces and stitch your gums closed.

If your wisdom teeth are causing you pain, Call National Dental Melville today at (631) 816-2277 to schedule your consultation.