Wisdom teeth don’t always need to be removed, but an impacted tooth can cause infections and long-term problems.
2 minute read
Wisdom teeth (or third molars) are the last teeth to come through in the mouth. They usually erupt between the late teens and mid-20s, though not everyone gets them.
Wisdom teeth can be more painful when they erupt than other teeth, and they are also more likely to develop problems. This can happen if the tooth:
- becomes stuck (known as impaction) in the gum
- only partially erupts or over-erupts
- comes through at the wrong angle
- causes crowding of surrounding teeth
If your wisdom teeth are causing pain, your dentist will normally recommend wisdom tooth removal or an alternative treatment to relieve your symptoms and help protect your oral health. Contact our team for more information.
You should make an appointment with your dentist if you have any of these common signs of wisdom tooth problems.
1. Tooth pain or sensitivity
All teeth can feel a little uncomfortable when they come through, but a wisdom tooth that’s impacted or infected can cause severe pain or sensitivity at the back of your mouth.
Wisdom teeth pain may be characterised by either an intense or dull throbbing feeling or pressure in the back of the mouth.
2. Swollen gums
A gum infection caused by an impacted wisdom tooth may cause the surrounding gum to look red or swollen or feel tender to the touch.
3. Bad breath or bad taste in your mouth
If the position of your wisdom tooth or swollen gums are making it difficult to brush or floss your back teeth, this could lead to bacteria and food particles building up and causing bad breath.
4. Stiff or painful jaw
Wisdom teeth can put pressure on the surrounding teeth and jaws, which may make it harder to open and close your mouth or cause pain.
If an impacted wisdom tooth isn’t treated, cysts (fluid-filled sacs) may form inside your mouth over time. These can damage surrounding tooth roots, jaws and nerves.
6. Sinus problems
Problematic wisdom teeth in the upper jaw can sometimes put pressure on the sinus cavity, which can lead to sinus pain, congestion or headaches.
7. Earache, headache or neck pain
Tooth or jaw pain caused by wisdom tooth problems may radiate to the ears, head or neck, especially if a problem is left untreated.
Do wisdom teeth have to be removed?
Wisdom tooth pain may go away on its own, but a tooth that’s impacted or causing other problems in your mouth needs professional care. Untreated wisdom tooth problems can lead to further complications, such as infections or pushing your teeth out of alignment.
Dentists may recommend removing a wisdom tooth if you visit the dental clinic with tooth pain or other symptoms, or if they notice signs of a problem during your regular check-up. Wisdom tooth removal can be a simple or complex procedure, depending on the individual situation.
Wisdom tooth removal may also be recommended if you plan on getting braces and the dentist can see there isn’t enough room in your jaw for wisdom teeth to come through.
Watch as Dr Rainer explains what to expect during wisdom tooth removal in his video, below:
Some wisdom tooth problems may be treated with antibiotics or by making a small incision in the gum to help the tooth break through easily. Your dentist will explain what each treatment option involves and what to expect so you can decide what approach is best for you.
Wisdom Tooth Removal Process
For tips on recovery and what to eat after wisdom tooth removal, visit our blog The Wisdom Tooth Removal Diet.
Wisdom teeth removal in Kelmscott
If you need to see a dentist in Kelmscott about wisdom tooth pain or something else that’s causing pain, contact our team at Kelmscott Dental. Our experienced dentists will discuss your symptoms, examine your mouth and recommend suitable treatment options.