Wisdom Tooth Pain – Answering Your Questions

Wisdom teeth are the last teeth to appear in the jaws. Although they come around very late in life when one is expected to attain maturity, these teeth are unlike their name; Wisdom teeth are associated with several complications, including pain and infection. 

If you or a loved one is having pain in one of their wisdom teeth, this blog provides all the information you need about wisdom teeth pain, why it occurs, and how to manage it. So, read on to learn more.  

What Are Wisdom Teeth?

According to the NHS, wisdom teeth are the last to grow in your gums and are positioned at the back of the jaw. These teeth are also called third molars. Humans have four wisdom teeth, two in each jaw (one on each side). Wisdom teeth usually grow during the late teens or the early twenties, well after the other 28 permanent teeth have already come out. 

Unfortunately, wisdom teeth come out when the remaining teeth have already occupied a considerable amount of space in the jaws. As a result, the wisdom teeth do not find enough space for erupting in optimal occlusion. Therefore, these teeth often erupt at an angle, erupt partially, or fail to grow at all. This is why, wisdom teeth have a higher number of complications than other permanent teeth. 

What Are The Common Signs Of Wisdom Teeth Problems?

Problems with wisdom teeth occur when they erupt partially into the oral cavity, a condition called impaction. When a wisdom tooth is partially impacted, there is a higher risk of food impaction around the soft tissues of the tooth. This promotes bacterial colonisation and the release of toxins that can cause local inflammation. 

You may be having inflammation n of one of your wisdom teeth if you have any of the following problems:

  • Swelling and redness of the soft tissues around the impacted wisdom tooth 
  • Severe pain in the affected tooth 
  • A foul smell emanating from the affected area 
  • Pain on biting 
  • Difficulty in opening or closing the mouth 

The inflammation of the soft tissues around an impacted wisdom tooth is called pericoronitis

What Are The Common Causes Of Wisdom Tooth Pain?

Here are some of the common causes of wisdom tooth pain:

  • Peri-coronitis – poor oral hygiene maintenance around a partially impacted wisdom tooth can cause a painful condition called peri-coronitis. 
  • Tooth Cavity – due to their position at the back of the mouth, it often becomes difficult to clean the wisdom teeth optimally. This results in a higher risk of developing cavities in these teeth. 
  • Insufficient Space – when there is insufficient space in the jaws to allow the wisdom teeth to erupt in optimal alignment, they erupt at an angle or abnormal positions. In such cases, the other teeth may exert pressure on the wisdom teeth and cause pain. 
  • Trauma – trauma to the wisdom teeth resulting in their fracture or chipping can also cause pain. 

How Can I Relieve Wisdom Tooth Pain?

If you have wisdom tooth pain, you may try taking an over-the-counter pain medication. You may also try placing an ice pack over the affected side of the face to minimise the inflammation. However, if these measures are not successful in relieving the pain, you should consult your dentist immediately. 

What Are My Treatment Options For Wisdom Teeth Pain?

The treatment of wisdom tooth pain depends on the underlying cause:

  • Pericoronitis – if someone suffers from pericoronitis frequently, your dentist will recommend removing the affected tooth. The underlying infection is treated by prescribing antibiotics and counselling the patient to improve their oral hygiene. 
  • Cavities – minor cavities in wisdom teeth are restored with a suitable filling. However, if the tooth is grossly damaged, it may be removed. 
  • Insufficient Space – if the pain is due to insufficient space in the jaw, your dentist will remove your wisdom teeth and realign the remaining ones with braces or clear aligners. 

What Should I Eat After Wisdom Teeth Extraction?

Your dentist will advise you to take a soft diet following wisdom tooth extraction. You may take cereals, fruits, and vegetables, and should avoid hard and sticky foods that may dislodge the blood clot around the surgical site and hamper the healing process. Your dentist will guide you about the type of diet you should take for the next few days after your surgery after the procedure

Wisdom Teeth Treatment Near Me

The process of removing a wisdom tooth is similar to how other teeth are extracted. However, in some cases, when a wisdom tooth is impacted and there is no place available for the dentist to hold it with their forceps, they may consider performing a surgical extraction. This involves raising a soft tissue flap and slightly removing the bone around the tooth. This allows the dentist to grip the tooth or break it into pieces so that it can be removed easily. 

Therefore, it is advisable to have one’s wisdom tooth removed or seek treatment of wisdom tooth-related pain by an experienced and qualified dentist. If you live in Didcot or the suburbs, you can rely on Oxford Smiles Dental Clinic for all your wisdom tooth-related dental care needs. Our highly experienced dentists will ensure that your treatment is performed painlessly, and in a comfortable and relaxing environment. 

So, what are you waiting for? Book a free consultation with us today and say goodbye to all your dental problems and worries.