What are Wisdom Teeth? What is a Wisdom Tooth Emergency? How Can They Been Treated? What Are The Best Options For Treatment?
Upper and Lower 8’s are so called due to their position in the dental arch. That is they are the 8th tooth in the arch. In some cases it is even possible to have a 9th tooth!! However, this is very rare. If they are the 8th tooth; well another more commonly understood name is the wisdom tooth or teeth. They were given this name around the nineteenth century, as third molars appear much later into our lives, generally around the ages of 17-24, when we reach adulthood. Thus, it was accepted that if they appear later in life a person should be wiser once these teeth erupt.
Not all of wisdom teeth will involve an emergency; however, in some cases when the room for eruption is lacking or do to the nature of development a tooth may become impacted or stuck in an unfavorable position. If this occurs one common problem that can happen is the gums become or form less an ideal relationship for dental cleaning. For example, if a wisdom tooth is partially erupted often a large flap of tissue hangs over the tooth which can trap food and debris. The debris underneath the flap become virtually impossible to clean out; which can result in pericoronitis or inflammation around the tooth. In some cases this can lead to infection and swelling which can result in an emergency situation.
In most cases the ideal option is to have the wisdom tooth removed; however, there are other options available. For example in some cases it is possible to clean around wisdom tooth which can provide relief and allow for healing; however, if the wisdom tooth remains in an unfavorable relationship in the mouth the problem can reoccur. Further, in some instances you can do what is called an operculectomy or sculpting of the soft tissues to allow for adequate oral hygiene.
For more information on wisdom teeth see an older Skygate Dental Blog.