Dentist Questions Wisdom Tooth Extraction

Food getting stuck behind wisdom teeth

I never had my wisdom teeth removed because they are not painful and my dentist told me it was not necessary. In the last couple of months though, I have noticed that food is getting stuck behind them and it is hard to get out. it seems like my gums have made a flap that goes over them. Does this mean I should remove them, or is there a better way to clean back there. I do floss every day but I can not reach my wisdom teeth. What should I do?

29 Answers

Remove them
Just because there isn't a 'problem' with your wisdom teeth directly, having an annoying food trap can case enough of an issue. I would suggest a consultation with an Oral Surgeon and have them evaluated.
I would visit your dentist so that your wisdom teeth may be reevaluated for your best care.
Use toothstickes or ask the dentist to clean for you and check for a cavity.
Get those wisdom teeth out of there. Garbage collectors. Obviously though you would discuss this first with a dental professional who can review the risks and benefits of both leaving them in or removing one or more of them.
The excess tissue indicates that either the teeth are not fully erupted or the mandible is smaller in size for the teeth in there. Having the wisdom teeth removed is usually a good idea.
By surgical removal of the soft tissue that overlaps the tooth and by clearing upper and distal side of the wisdom teeth creating easy access for cleaning. There is a special tooth brush called Sulka that is effective to clean the top and back side of the wisdom tooth. This can be found at your local drug mart.
Long term retention of any tooth in a mouth requires maintenance( brushing and flossing). With out this care it will eventually develop decay(cavity) and or gum disease. There are special end tuft brushes to improve access and cleaning in such areas. However a flap over a tooth can also in some instances be removed for better access and cleaning. In your case I would suggest you revisit keeping or removing these teeth with your dentist or an oral surgeon recommended by your dentist taking about the changing maintenance difficulties you are experiencing. Dr. Grimm.
if you have developed a flap.....AND....the wizzie is NOT have 2 choices....remove the tooth....or have the flap removed/reduced surgically....IF it is a functioning tooth ( ie chews with an upper tooth ) it...its always good to have an extra tooth....the surgery is NOT extensive, done with local anes and recovery should NOT be bad....
The flap can harbor bacteria and cause infection. Then it swells up and the
opposing tooth can further irritate it. The flap can be surgically removed
which is less traumatic than an extraction. The easiest treatment is using
a water pic, under low or medium power, with some salt water to disinfect.
A waterpik is an excellent way to keep gum tissue hwalrhy. A pressurized
stream of water goes deeper than floss to flush out food and bacteria!

You may have to get the flap over the teeth surgically removed. After this use an air flosser(sonicare) or a water pic to get food and get keep it out. Afterwards irrigate with hydrogen peroxide with a syringe with light pressure. Let bubble debris out then rinse out with water.
As a specialist in Orthodontics I'm very familiar with the anthropology that involves the positioning of wisdom teeth in the back of the mouth and how short the jaw is getting by generation. This condition leaves no space for wisdom teeth and makes cleaning difficult even with a waterpik and improper cleaning can lead to a condition known as pericoronitis. Proliferation of this common bacteria and lead to Subacute bacterial endocarditis which affects the heart muscle and is very serious. This is from the same bacteria that propagates in the back of the mouth. Most dentists recommend prophylactic removal of wisdom teeth about time boys are fully matured around 18 to 20 years of age girls maybe somewhat earlier due to the difference in adolescent maturation. While your dentist is perfectly capable of removal of most wisdom teeth the use of an oral surgeon as a specialist might be advisable depending on complexity and viewing the xray. You'll feel much better once the wisdom teeth are removed and your mouth returns to full health. Good luck
If the gums are grown over the tooth or constantly irritated as a result of being unable to properly clean the area it's time to get your wisdom tooth out.
You have several options. 1, you can try using a water pick or water flosser to help clean the area better, easier than regular floss. 2, you can ask your dentist or see a specialist to have an operculectomy (cutting away the excess tissue behind tbe wisdom teeth). 3, have the wisdom teeth removed so you can maintain the others better, since it is too difficult to keep clean
You basically have three options. One would be to extract the third molar,
thus eliminating the problem completely. The second option is to remove
the flap of gum tissue under which the food gets lodged. This may or may
not grow back over time. So it is not as predictable as the extraction
option. Lastly, depending upon how often and to what degree the food
collection occurs, you could try debriding the area with instruments like a
rubber tip and/or water pik, and then select one of the other options if
your problem continues. One last thing, you should allow your dentist to
visually check the area to confirm that a gum infection has not developed
as a result of the food impaction.
The flap you are referring to can easily be removed with laser surgery. I
would recommend a waterlase laser like the one in our office because it
promotes healing, and has much less discomfort while it is healing. This
will make it easier to clean the tooth effectively. As long as you can
clean the tooth and you are not putting yourself at risk for periodontal or
gum disease you should be fine. Those diseases; however, unchecked these
conditions can place you at a 5-10 times greater risk of heart attacks and
strokes so I would definitely do something about it if I were you. -Dr.
The fact that you have a flap back there concerns me. There is a high potential for you to get an infection that can be very painful. It is called pericoronitis, I feel you should have them evaluated for removal. You can not keep them clean, as you stated and I feel you are concerned with the food impaction. This is a real concern and should be addressed prior to having pain or infection. See a dentist ASAP.
Without seeing them, I would say "yes", you will be prevent having an acute pericornitis( infection around the tooth0 which will require antibiotic therapy and then removal of the tooth. However, if your wisdom teeth are functional with the other teeth, it may be possible to have a gingivectomy ( remove the flap of tissue) and make the area easier to clean. Leaving the flap the way it is may lead to decay of the wisdom tooth and also bad breath.
Rest of the answer. . .

laser off or surgically remove the extra tissue. Typically, once the food
starts to get stuck on a regular basis, it means something has changed and
should be evaluated by a dental professional.
Even with meticulous homecare, sometimes food get struck under the tissue partially covering the wisdom tooth. You either opt to do a simple procedure of cutting of the excess tissue (operculectomy) around the wisdom tooth or you can get your wisdom tooth removed either partially(coronectomy) or completely depending on its relation to inferior alveolar nerve. With operculectomy sometimes tissues might grow back. Discuss pros and cons in detail with your dentist.
I have no 80 year old patients with wisdom teeth, and it's not because they were 'rushing' to get them out. In other words, probably at some point in your life, you will have problems with them and need to get them out. Food catching around wisdom teeth can lead to cavities or a painful gum infection called pericoronitis. I see it a lot in my practice. The general rule is, if you are over 32 we try to keep them. If you are younger than that - get them out.
If you are getting a flap around the tooth, most likely, the wisdom tooth does need to be removed. I would get a second opinion.
Wisdom teeth do not always emerge (erupt) into the mouth properly because there may not be enough room in the mouth for them to fit. Sometimes, a part of the tooth may remain covered by a flap of gum. Food particles and bacteria can get trapped under this flap and cause a mild irritation, a low-grade infection called pericoronitis and swelling. This usually happens with the lower wisdom teeth. Pericoronitis can be tricky to treat because the overlying flap in the tissue won't go away until the wisdom tooth fully emerges naturally — which is unlikely to happen — or is removed by an oral surgeon.

Your dentist, however, may try to treat the problem without extensive procedures. He or she will clean the area thoroughly to remove damaged tissue or pus. If the area is infected, you'll be given oral antibiotics as well.
If they r in your mouth( erupted) gums can be trimmed with lasers very quickly and painlessly.
Rinse with salt water and use a child size toothbrush to clean the area around the wisdom tooth. This will also help shrink the gum tissue covering the erupting wisdom tooth.
The flap around the wisdom teeth is usually an indication that there is not enough room for them to fully erupt. They may be impacted underneath the soft tissue. Sometimes the tissue can be removed with a laser but many times removing the wisdom teeth is a more permanent solution. An evaluation by a general dentist and/or oral surgeon can help assess which is the better option for your particular situation.
Until then keep the areas clean and happy flossing!
It sounds like the wisdom teeth are creating a hygiene issue. This means that you can't really access them to clean them well. Generally, this will lead to a bigger problems eventually. Unless there is a major reason to not remove them, it is better to have them taken out in the long run.

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Tough to answer without specifically seeing your case clinically and on an x-ray, but here are a couple of options. If you are under 25, most likely removal would be best, but again, can't make that definitive without seeing. Depending on the situation, that little flap can be removed to allow for cleaning around it, but again, can't say for sure without knowing the situation clinically and where tooth is positioned on x-ray. I would make an appointment to evaluate and see what would be best in your specific case