Our Guide on Wisdom Teeth

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Hi, I’m Tom from Toothpaste, and welcome to our guide on wisdom teeth.

Understanding Wisdom Teeth

Well, what are wisdom teeth? And why do we have problems with them? Almost everyone has a story either for themselves, from friends, or from family about wisdom teeth and the trouble that they’ve had. By calling them wisdom teeth, it implies that there’s something especially different from your other teeth, but in fact, wisdom teeth are simply your third molars.

Common Issues with Wisdom Teeth

Teething-like Problems

Generally, there are two types of issues that we have associated with wisdom teeth. The first is usually teething-like problems that as they’re coming through the gum, they can be incredibly difficult to clean. It’s really easy to get food or plaque stuck around them, causing inflammation in the gum.

Severe Infections

If it’s really severe, it can result in infection, swelling, pus, and quite severe pain.

Cleaning Techniques

As soon as you feel any infection developing in the gum, it’s really important that you try and get it as clean as possible. To do this, try and get the bristles of your toothbrush underneath the flap of gum.

Using an Electric Toothbrush

This will be far easier with an electric toothbrush which has a smaller head, and you can just rest it there, you’re not having to brush it backwards and forwards, trying to get the bristles under the gum.


Other things that can help are mouthwashes, either salt water every few hours for the next few days, or alternatively, a mouthwash called Savacol used twice a day for the next five days or so should help to settle that infection.

When to Call the Dentist

If despite doing all of this extra cleaning, you still feel like the pain is persisting or getting worse, give us a call at the practice for us to have a look, and we may need to get you on some antibiotics.

Tooth Decay and Wisdom Teeth Removal

The second risk associated with wisdom teeth is tooth decay. If we’re having issues with the wisdom tooth either due to decay or repeat infection, that’s a reason for us to look at getting the wisdom tooth taken out.

Risks to Adjacent Teeth

If the risk is to the back of the tooth in front, that’s even more important for us to be proactive and look at removal of the wisdom tooth beforehand.

Removing Wisdom Teeth

The Procedure

How do we go about removing wisdom teeth? Well, this depends on which one it is and how difficult it looks. Wisdom teeth on the top can be one of the easiest teeth in the mouth to remove. On the bottom, they can be one of the hardest.

Associated Risks

Low wisdom teeth often have thicker bone and can sometimes be closely associated with the nerve that runs along the jaw.

Referral to an Oral Surgeon

In this situation, there is an increased risk of nerve damage which can result in partial numbness of the lip or chin. If any of your extractions look like they’re going to be especially difficult or complicated, or if you don’t like the idea of being awake in the chair, we can look at referral to an oral surgeon for removal under general anaesthetic.

Making the Best Decision for You

It’s really important to have this discussion with your dentist to decide what the best approach is for you.

Importance of Regular Dental Checks

And if the decision is to take a wait-and-see approach, it makes it even more important to come in for your regular checks and cleans because the absence of pain does not necessarily mean the absence of issues.

Early Intervention

So if we do identify any problems, we need to get onto them early before they potentially compromise either the wisdom tooth or the tooth in front.

For more information on wisdom teeth, you can give us a call at the practice or book an appointment online, and ask some of our friendly team for help.


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Book an appointment online, and our helpful team can give you some more advice.

We would love to help!

We strongly recommend you attend for a full check up to properly assess and address all of your concerns. We are willing to book you in for a limited consult to deal with a specific issue but please be aware that this blinkered approach may result in greater issues in the long run.

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