Are you, or a family member, suffering from swollen, sore red gums?


Are you, or a family member, suffering from swollen, sore red gums?

Do you have pain at the back of your jaw and need to chew? Is it making you feel irritable? If the answer is yes then it could be that you, or they, are teething. You remember that thing you did as a child, and forgot all about! That is until your wisdom teeth decided to show up like that guest at a party who’s way past being fashionably late, demanding all your attention.

Third molars, or wisdom teeth, are thought to be an evolutionary remnant from a time when our early human ancestors used to eat coarse, hard foods that resulted in high levels of tooth wear: having four extra teeth would have been advantageous to their survival.  These days we eat softer foods, have modern dentistry and use cutlery so our teeth last longer and have reduced wear and these teeth make no difference to survival.

Wisdom teeth often erupt in correct position, but they can also erupt out of alignment, or fail to erupt completely and become impacted. This means that the teeth come out at funny angles, out of position or may even grow into the teeth next door.

These days’ wisdom teeth are not removed as a precautionary measure as indicated by current guidelines. Reasons for infection include something called pericoronitis. This means that the gum around the wisdom tooth that has not fully come through has become infected. In such cases it is advisable to visit your dentist to ensure that there are no signs of infection that require antibiotics and to help clean the area, often with a salt-water rinse. Only after two or more episodes of infection, may wisdom tooth extraction be considered.

If wisdom teeth are coming through the gums and there is no signs of infection the EZ teether: a wisdom teething pain reliever can be used. This regulated medical device allows users to massage and place pressure over the sore gums applying pressure to the area to help relieve pain as the wisdom tooth is coming in.

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Friedman, J. The prophylactic extraction of third molars: A public health hazard. Am J Public Health. 2007;97(9):1554-59.

Southard TE. Third molars and incisor crowding: when removal is unwarranted. J Am Dent Assoc.1992;123(8):75-9.
Kaplan RG. Mandibular third molars and post-retention crowding. Am J Orthodont. 1974;66(4):411–30.

Harradine NW, Pearson MH, Toth B. The effect of extraction of third molars on late lower incisor crowding: a randomized controlled trial. Br J Orthodont. 1998;25(2):117-22.

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