Wisdom teeth typically erupt between 16-20 years of age. While some may erupt properly through the gum or bone, many people have insufficient space for them to come completely through. In these cases, a flap of gum tissue known as an operculum covers the tooth, making it difficult to clean properly. If food or bacteria collects in these areas, a chronic inflammatory reaction can occur, and sometimes infection as well. Many people will develop swelling of the gum flap, known as pericoronitis, which can be very painful, and make it difficult to chew.
Some wisdom teeth can be removed simply in the dental chair, however if necessary Blue has a regular theatre list at St John of God Hospital where more difficult cases can be treated under general anesthetic. In some cases a referral to an oral surgeon may be required.
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