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Wisdom teeth are molars which are the last adult teeth to develop in the mouth. Most people have four wisdom teeth at the back of the mouth — 1 in each corner.
They usually start to appear in gums in late teens, early twenties, but it can also be quite common to appear later. By this time, there are already 28 adult teeth in the mouth and so the development of wisdom teeth can often be impacted by restricted space, causing problems as they grow. Wisdom teeth can sometimes emerge at an angle or get stuck and only partially emerge. Teeth that grow through like this are known as impacted.
When to see a Newcastle Dental Practice dentist
Impacted wisdom teeth don't always cause symptoms. However, when an impacted wisdom tooth becomes infected, damages other teeth or causes other dental problems, you may experience some of these signs or symptoms:
Red or swollen gums
Tender or bleeding gums
Swelling around the jaw
An unpleasant taste in your mouth
Difficulty opening your mouth
As with any teeth problems, if you are experiencing any of these symptoms it's important to book an appointment at Newcastle Dental Practice to see a dentist as soon as possible, rather than waiting for routine dental health review.
What can I do to help relieve the discomfort of wisdom teeth?
A mouthwash of medium-hot water with a teaspoonful of salt will help to reduce gum soreness and inflammation. Swish the salt water around the tooth, trying to get into the areas your toothbrush cannot reach. Do this several times a day.
An antibacterial mouthwash containing chlorhexidine can also reduce the inflammation. Pain-relieving tablets such as paracetamol or ibuprofen can also be useful in the short term, but talk to us at Newcastle Dental Practice if the pain continues.
Why are wisdom teeth removed?
If your wisdom teeth are impacted but not causing any problems, you don't usually need to be remove them. This is because there's no proven benefit of doing this and it carries the risk of complications.
Sometimes, wisdom teeth that have become impacted or haven't fully broken through the surface of the gum can cause dental problems. Food and bacteria can get trapped around the edge of the wisdom teeth, causing a build-up of plaque, which can lead to several problems in the mouth:
- Damage to other teeth. If the wisdom tooth pushes against the second molar, it may damage the second molar or increase the risk of infection in that area. This pressure can also cause problems with crowding of the other teeth or require orthodontic treatment to straighten other teeth.
- Cysts. The wisdom tooth develops in a sac within the jawbone. The sac can fill with fluid, forming a cyst that can damage the jawbone, teeth and nerves.
- Decay. Partially impacted wisdom teeth appear to be at higher risk of tooth decay than other teeth. This probably occurs because wisdom teeth are harder to clean and because food and bacteria get easily trapped between the gum and a partially erupted tooth.
- Gum disease. The difficulty cleaning impacted, partially erupted wisdom teeth increases the risk of developing a painful, inflammatory gum disease in that area.
Many of these problems can be treated with antibiotics, antiseptic mouthwash and a good oral hygiene regime.
Wisdom teeth removal is very common, but usually only recommended when other treatments haven't worked.
How are wisdom teeth removed?
If your Newcastle Dental Practice dentist recommends removing your wisdom teeth, they'll take an X-ray of your mouth to help them determine who should carry out the procedure. Your dentist may remove your wisdom teeth, or they may refer you to a specialist surgeon for hospital treatment.
Before the operation, we’ll fully explain the procedure to you.
A local anaesthetic injection is usually given to numb the area around the tooth. You'll feel some pressure just before the tooth is removed, as your dentist or oral surgeon needs to widen the tooth socket by rocking the tooth back and forth.
A small cut in the gum is sometimes necessary, and the tooth may need to be cut into smaller pieces before it's removed.
It takes anything from a few minutes to 20 minutes, or sometimes even longer, to remove a wisdom tooth.
After your wisdom teeth have been removed, you may have swelling and discomfort, both inside and outside your mouth. Occasionally, some mild bruising is also visible. This is usually improves after 3 days, but it can take up to 2 weeks. If this continues for longer, or progresses, please get in touch with the team at Newcastle Dental Practice as soon as possible.
You can't keep an impaction from occurring but keeping your regular dental appointments for cleaning and reviews enables your dentist to monitor the growth and emergence of your wisdom teeth. Regularly updated dental X-rays may indicate impacted wisdom teeth before any symptoms develop.
If you have any concerns about your wisdom teeth, or are experiencing any pain, give us a call on 01782 616178.
People are talking about us
The biggest complement we receive is when our patients refer their friends and family to Newcastle Dental Practice. In fact, we have built much of our practice on these valued, trusted recommendations over the years. Read our reviews to hear why our patients are recommending us…
Love this place! The team are so professional and caring yet seem to have good fun which really puts me at ease! The girl on reception with the curly blonde hair is so helpful and friendly I would recommend this practice to anyone ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Always a warm welcome. Dr. Liza & Laura very patient with the job at hand and did incredible. Thank you.
Professional service, easy to book. Best thing is that Dr. Elizabeth made me feel comfortable from start to finish. I would say I come back, but I do not necessarily want to. :D
I want to say a huge thank you to Dr. Elizabeth, she is a great doctor and a very professional. She has magical hands. Sincerely, Russian Max
Just had a scale snd polish carried out by Jenna and Molly. It was so lovely to get treatment from people who seemed to take pride in their work and genuinely care about the patient. Thank you
I don't have words enough to describe my experience here,everything was to superlative starting with lovely nurses from reception,a very warm wellcome,very helpful,pleasant presences,I had a tooth extraction and Dr Teddy,was amazing,I didnt feel any pain,everything was going in a high standard of professionalism,congratulations to all team a well done to everyone!!!I definitely come back with a good confidence!
Friendly, helpful staff and outstanding service throughout. I'm very glad I chose this practice upon moving to the area and will continue to use them in the time I live here. Would highly recommend.
After years of hiding my smile and being ashamed of the state of my teeth, caused by a bad accident in a swimming pool at 9 years old and a life long MAJOR fear of dentists and lack of sleep for even a check up, these guys have totally transformed me. I can smile openly now and have not had a single worry of going to the dentist despite all of the work they have done over the last 3 months, safe to say they have cured my fear and i would, and have already recommended them to several people. I cannot rate you all highly enough. Thank you to every single one of you at the practice for literally changing my life!!
I joined this practice a few months ago. They are very professional and caring. Their expertise extends to enhanced specialist skills which are very impressive and as I was very much in need of a course of treatment I have experienced treatment from Drs Alka, Emily and Vish - all excellent and highly recommended. Thank-you.
Absolutely fantastic dental practice. Highly recommended. I moved here a few months ago. Dr Alka and her staff are brilliant.
EXCELLENT! got me in within a couple of days, fast service. god rid of the problem within seconds.
Excellent treatment from Dentist Dr. Emily and Nurse Sophie Ellis-Beeston. Lovely atmosphere (do you call it bedside manner at a Dentist?) Definitely the most painless Dentist I have ever visited and I could not recommend them more.
They are incredible. Truly. They could not be more kind and efficient. I could not recommend more highly.
Wouldn't go anywhere else. Alka and her team are so accommodating and friendly.
Had two implants by Kris exellent professional service, could not be more happier. And thank you Alka for your smile and frendliness.Yvonne
I am in my sixties and have been a client for about two and a half years. I have always been apprehensive of dentists due to childhood painful experiences. I had also always been aware of my bad breath which knocked my confidence every day. I could never understand it as I cleaned and flossed my teeth regularly and rigorously. I thought the reason behind my bad breath was due to me having 'rotten' tonsils as a result of many throat infections and tonsillitis bouts as a child. I even paid, some years ago, to see a consultant gastroenterologist at the nuffield hospital for help and advice. I even considered, (stupidly - I know), drinking diluted bleach to clean the back of my throat so I could speak to people with confidence without holding my hand over my mouth or chewing gum all the time. I visited Newcastle Dentist following an advert I heard on the local radio. My bottom teeth were crooked and my top could have been straighter. Thank goodness I did!! I saw Dr Alka Nathwani. She ex-rayed all around my mouth. She said that the reason for my bad breath was the fact that I had crooked wisdom teeth which needed to come out immediately. She said that no amount of brushing would have been able to remove all the built up tartar which had accumulated around those wisdom teeth throughout the years. She emailed the hospital, there and then, whilst I was with her to ask for me to be referred as a national health patient. The removal of the wisdom teeth needed general anaesthetic. Within 3 months my teeth were out. My bad breath was gone forever! With regard to my crooked teeth - she arranged for me to wear Invisalign braces, which I paid for over an interest free period. I am nearing the end of this procedure and my teeth look amazing. I have received personal observation from Dr Alka at every appointment during this time. I visit the hygienist (Jenna) every six months. Before, at my previous dentist, a check up and clean would take about 5 minutes. Now my check up and clean takes up to 45 minutes. I leave the chair feeling refreshed and valued. I would like to take this opportunity to thank Dr Alka from the bottom of my heart and also her staff - from the helpful, pleasant and professional receptionists, through to all the dental nurses. Throughout our life we all take our professionals for granted because we either pay for their service directly (private medicine) or indirectly (our national health service) but when we receive good service which in my opinion, in this case, has surpassed all expectations I would personally like to thank Dr Alka Nathwani for changing my life for ever.
Absolutely SUPERB service!! Couldn’t recommend highly enough. Couldn’t have been more helpful- has completely eased my nerves on going to the dentist. Alka and her colleagues were fantastic.
Absolutely amazing!! I truly hate the dentist and always fear going, if you are looking for a dentist to make you feel as comfortable as possible this is defo the one. Extremely friendly staff who are willing to invest their time by explaining in detail how to get the best from your teeth without lecturing you, they also explain what they are going to do. I had to have a filling and didn’t feel any pain at all, the aftercare is amazing and they will help anyone in any situation. Very very highly recommended.
29th November 2017
Everyone from the receptionists to the dental staff are all very friendly and professional.
I am terrified of the dentist and suffer with anxiety as it is, my whole body was shaking the entire car journey, but once I was there the woman were so friendly and completely calmed me down (They are like a big family and they are all happy and upbeat), they spoke to me throughout the procedure so I knew what to expect, and I'm honestly looking forward to my next appointment !!! These guys are experts.
Always put you at ease, never feel any pain not even injections, very caring x
Signed up as my current Dentist has shut down and I got an appointment that was convienient for me. I am quiet nervous when it comes to Dentist but i was treated brilliantly. Dr Alka Nathwani was very friendly and professional and talked me through everything that was going on which made it alot easier. Great place, Friendly staff, Good price. I would recommend. :)