Your Guide to Wisdom Tooth Growth, Pain, Extraction and Removal

Wisdom tooth pain and extraction made easy to understand

Wisdom tooth pain should not be taken lightly

Wisdom tooth pain is a complaint we often hear coming from adults. They are the last adult teeth to erupt into the mouth and can quite big of a discomfort. There are usually two at the top and two at the bottom, and the concluding result is a wisdom tooth removal procedure.

Wisdom teeth are the widest and toughest teeth, referred to as molars. These are the teeth we use to grind food. However, these are the teeth usually found missing in adult mouths.

Every year, thousands of individuals across the globe go in for wisdom tooth removal surgery. The main reason for individuals experiencing wisdom tooth pain is the lack of space in the mouth for a wisdom tooth to erupt. The tussle between the erupting tooth and the lack of room is what leads to discomfort and pain.


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What is the purpose of wisdom teeth?

Most adults develop a third set of molars between the ages of 17 and 21. It is these molars that we refer to as wisdom teeth.

The categorization of teeth is dependent on their function and placement in the mouth. The sharper teeth, like the canines, are used for tearing food into smaller pieces; the flatter ones are used for grinding it. These molars, placed all the way at the back of the mouth, are the wisdom teeth. Grownups have three sets on both sides of the mouth at the top and the bottom.

Wisdom teeth are the last teeth to erupt and emerge after the first set of teeth has developed, fallen, and made room for a new set. The wisdom tooth is found in the second set.

Pain in and around wisdom teeth

An erupting wisdom tooth will cause no problem if there is sufficient space in the mouth. However, an individual will experience wisdom tooth pain as the tooth comes through. The pain diminishes and subsides once the tooth is fully in position.

Pericoronitis is a condition where a part of the wisdom tooth has appeared through the gum while part of it is still covered. This is a painful situation to endure since it leads to the swelling and soreness of gums. Also, such a scenario is a gathering point for food particles and bacteria, leading to difficulty in maintaining oral hygiene.

The usual first recommended solution to such a situation is mouthwash, antibiotics, and special cleaning methods. However, should the problem persist, a partially erupted wisdom tooth of this sort is usually advised to be removed.

Short-term relief from wisdom teeth pain till you get to a dentist

Inflammations and gum soreness can be remedied by mixing a teaspoonful of salt and medium-hot water blended with mouthwash. The idea is to swish the mix to areas of your mouth unreachable with a toothbrush. Doing this a few times a day can deliver relief to the affected area.

Chlorhexidine mouthwashes work best as an antibacterial. For the shorter term, paracetamol and ibuprofen work well as pain-relievers. The tablet is to be swallowed. If the pain persists, getting in touch with the dentist is the way to go.

What are impacted wisdom teeth?

Some people have sufficient room and their jaws are large enough to accommodate erupting wisdom teeth growth. However, some people don’t have that kind of space or jaw structure. These are the individuals who experience impacted wisdom tooth pain. Most individuals only have space for accommodating 28 teeth.

The catch with wisdom teeth is that they either fail to appear all the way through the gum line, or, when they do, they don’t come through in proper alignment. This creates a situation where we find wisdom teeth stuck between jawbone and gum tissue. This is known as an impacted wisdom tooth.

Symptoms of an impacted wisdom tooth

Impacted wisdom teeth are hard to go unnoticed despite a person being aware of their lack of utility.

The substantial infection, pain, and swelling that an impacted wisdom tooth brings with it rarely goes untreated; there is no choice but to treat it. Also, gums, teeth, and bone near an impacted wisdom tooth also come under the line of fire.

More than likely, a dentist will always suggest undergoing a wisdom tooth extraction surgery. Where left unaddressed, an impacted wisdom tooth can permanently damage other teeth and bone structure; a lingering wisdom tooth pain is a welcome sign for bacteria entering tissue and causing infections. It must be known that negatively impacted oral health leads to negatively impacted general health.

When a wisdom tooth is disallowed by the jawbone or other teeth to emerge, that’s when we experience wisdom tooth pain. Our oral health gives us numerous clues that a wisdom tooth may be impacted; bad breath, swollen gums, red gums, tenderness, jaw pain, and food tasting distasteful are some.

It’s important to note ignoring or delaying the addressal of wisdom tooth pain can create cysts and tumors in the mouth. This is a huge red flag because it can lead to permanent damage to teeth and jaw.

Some symptoms of an impacted wisdom tooth include:

● Red or swollen gums ● Tender or bleeding gums ● Jaw pain ● Swelling around the jaw ● Bad breath ● An unpleasant taste in your mouth ● Difficulty opening your mouth

Complications of impacted wisdom teeth

Some complications that can result from impacted wisdom teeth are:

Gum disease: Cleaning the area surrounding the partially erupted wisdom teeth can be a daunting task. Uncleaned spaces can lead to gum diseases. This further leads to tooth loss, inflammation, and pain, along with other possible issues.

Tooth decay: Partially impacted wisdom teeth face a higher risk of decay. Since they are more difficult to clean, the chances of bacteria and food becoming stuck between the tooth and gum.

Damage to surrounding teeth: because they push around neighboring teeth, impacted wisdom teeth can cause rub damage. When this occurs, the affected individual may need to undergo straightening treatment.

Cysts: This is a very serious phenomenon. To begin with, let’s understand that cysts are fluid-filled sacs developed as a consequence of ignored or delayed wisdom tooth pain addressal. These cysts can cause further damage to nerves, other teeth, and the jawbone. Alarmingly, in some cases, benign tumors can also develop but rarely.

How are impacted wisdom teeth treated?

A wisdom tooth extraction is performed by either an oral surgeon or a dentist. It is typically a one-day procedure where the affected individual gets to return home the very same day.

The dentist or oral surgeon will induce a type of anesthesia using anesthetic drugs. The process can involve local anesthesia, which will numb your mouth. On the other hand, there is general anesthesia to make things even more desensitized during the procedure, but it is rarely needed and mostly when the procedure is done in hospitals.

A cut is made in the gums during the procedure to oust problematic bone before the impacted tooth is removed. The incision created for the purpose is later stitched and packed with gauze.

If you’re going in for this procedure, you can generally anticipate it to take from 30 to 60 minutes in its entirety.

Post-surgery recovery for a wisdom tooth extraction

It takes very little time to return to one’s usual daily routine and addressing tasks following a wisdom tooth extraction surgery. While the procedure doesn’t hinder daily life, a full oral recovery comes about in six weeks’ time.

The first week usually requires the consumption of soft foods because the affected person’s mouth won’t open normally for that period of time. The doctor gives specific instructions and guidelines to manage post-surgery discomfort. It’s common for cold compresses and pain medications to be prescribed during the time. Also, it is normal for post-surgery swelling, bleeding, and slight pain to also manifest.

In some rare instances, a pain-causing dry socket can develop for some individuals. This is usually the result of either a post-surgery blood clot failing to form properly or because the blood clot becomes displaced from the socket, exposing bone as a consequence.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Why is it more difficult to remove a wisdom tooth than other teeth?

Impacted wisdom teeth grow a bit differently to other teeth in your mouth, in a more angled way. This means that in order to be extracted, they first need to be sectioned into pieces. If the tooth has not erupted, it requires the dentist to make an incision in the tissue to gain access to the tooth. Wisdom teeth have multiple roots and can be shaped in a variety of ways. They can also grow separately or fused together.

What are ways to for wisdom tooth extraction?

The first thing the dentist will assess is if the tooth has erupted. In this case, the area will be numbed through anaesthesia, and then the tooth will be pulled out. In case of an impacted wisdom tooth, or if it is yet to come through the gums, a surgical extraction will be done. After the procedure, the dental staff will clean the area, lay the gum tissue back down, and suture the gums.

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