Wisdom tooth removal is a very common dental procedure. In fact, it seems that most people have their wisdom teeth out in their late teens. However, while many patients do require extraction, the procedure is not necessary for everyone. Dr. Georgaklis will not recommend removal if it is not necessary. He can often help you to manage your teeth, so you will never need an extraction. Through regular exams, he can monitor the development of your teeth and look for any complications. You may also notice symptoms that could indicate the need for removal. For example, if you suffer from third molar pain, an extraction at our San Diego practice may be the optimal solution. If you do require this treatment, Dr. Georgaklis will use extremely gentle techniques, resulting in minimal discomfort.
What Are Wisdom Teeth?
Wisdom teeth are a third set of molars that typically erupt during the late teens or early 20’s. These teeth pose an interesting evolutionary riddle. Our ancient ancestors may have needed them for their hunter-gatherer diets, but they are no longer necessary. Human jaws have shrunk and changed shape over the millennia, but these teeth remain part of our biological makeup. As a result, most people do not have enough room in their mouths for wisdom teeth to come in. However, a few lucky individuals have enough space to accommodate these teeth, and some people do not have wisdom teeth at all.
Nevertheless, for the majority, wisdom teeth can cause a host of problems when they start to erupt. Because of the pressure on your other teeth, your entire dental arch may become misaligned. Not only will this affect your appearance; it will also change your bite. In some cases, the changed force of your bite can put too much pressure on your jaw joints, increasing your risk for TMJ Disorder. Crowded teeth can also make hygiene more difficult, and you will be more likely to develop cavities.
Sometimes, wisdom teeth cannot fully break through the surrounding layer of bone or gum tissue. These impacted molars often come in at an angle. Because bacteria can easily become trapped under the layer of tissue, an abscess may develop. These pockets in your gum tissue are the biggest cause of third molar pain.
The Importance of Routine Exams
Ideally, of course, you will never experience third molar pain. At our La Jolla office, Dr. Georgaklis will take regular x-rays to reveal dental development and show the position of wisdom teeth in your mouth. If it appears that teeth will eventually cause problems, he will recommend extraction. It is typically best to remove teeth in the early teens, since younger patients will recover more quickly.
Symptoms You May Notice
If you have not had a recent exam, or if another dentist has overlooked the need for extraction, you may experience several symptoms that could indicate the need for wisdom tooth removal. These signs include:
- Gum irritation and inflammation
- Jaw stiffness
- Facial swelling
- Bleeding gums
- A bad taste or odor in your mouth
- Pain when biting down on the back teeth
- Discharge from your gums
If you experience any of these symptoms, Dr. Georgaklis will provide emergency treatment. He will use gentle techniques and highly effective sedation to extract wisdom teeth with minimal discomfort and a short recovery time.
Schedule a Consultation
If you have not had a recent dental exam, or if you are experiencing third molar pain, contact our La Jolla office today.