Wisdom; it’s all relative right? Wisdom teeth, named such because of their late emergence in the mouth, at an age when people are thought to be wiser, actually refers to the final third set of molars that erupt in late adolescence or early twenties. Though these teeth can be helpful in heavy-duty chewing, unhealthy and misaligned wisdom teeth require removal. Indeed, when things go wrong back there, it can get seriously painful. Better to keep vigilant, then, and look out for these 4 signs that you need wisdom teeth extraction done.

PAIN 

Pain, in the jaw or at the tooth site, is a sign of a dental problem. The pain can be described as a pounding or pulsating that is felt at the location of your wisdom tooth, though it can radiate further; in your jaw, head, and even your shoulder area as it intensifies. You can take over-the-counter pain medications like Ibuprofen to ease the severity of pain in the short term, and visit your dentist at the nearest convenience. This isn’t a problem which will simply go away, so don’t let your apprehension about going to the dentist deter you; check out this information about wisdom teeth removals at https://kristianvanmourik.com.au/oral-surgery/wisdom-teeth-removal-sydney/ for reassurance.

MISALIGNED OR PARTIALLY ERUPTED WISDOM TOOTH

Once you’ve gotten over your trepidation, the dentist will assess how your wisdom tooth is developing. If it’s partially erupted or misaligned, your wisdom tooth needs to be extracted because any misaligned tooth crowds the teeth or causes damage to the adjacent teeth. What’s more, partial wisdom tooth eruption leaves your oral cavity vulnerable to tooth decay and infection. And no one wants that.

SWELLING OF THE GUMS

When the wisdom tooth starts to break through the gums, you’ll feel some discomfort caused by the swelling of the gums. That said, it’s important to be aware that swollen gums can be caused by a nutritional problem, such as a vitamin deficiency wherein the swelling is not isolated in the wisdom teeth. It’s important to hone in on the issue to identify its cause. 

To help reduce swelling of the gums in the wisdom teeth, you should consider:

  • If the swelling is worsened or caused by a piece of food that got stuck in the area. Should this be the case, make sure to rinse your mouth thoroughly. When the food is washed away, the swelling will subside on its own.
  • A dentist may also recommend rinsing your mouth with warm salt water or an ADA-approved antiseptic oral rinse. 
  • Apply a cold compress or an ice pack directly to the face’s swollen area.
  • You may also suck on ice chips and keep them near or on the swollen area.
  • You can also take over-the-counter anti-pain medication such as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs or NSAIDs (e.g., Motrin or Advil).
  • Avoid things that may irritate the gums, like tobacco and alcohol. It’s a wise move to quit smoking since it’s bad for dental health.

SIGNS OF GUM DISEASE 

Pericoronitis pertains to a dental disorder wherein the gum tissue becomes infected and swollen around the wisdom tooth. Once the wisdom tooth comes through the gums, complications may lead to pain, swelling and infection if the tooth partially emerges, which allows bacteria to enter into the gums. 

It may also emerge that the wisdom tooth is positioned incorrectly, which allows food to get stuck, promoting the growth and proliferation of cavity-causing bacteria. Also, if there’s a cyst forming on the surrounding of the wisdom tooth that can damage both teeth and the bone holding them together, this could also cause issues. 

Some of the signs and symptoms of pericoronitis include:

  • Painful and swollen gum tissue in the affected area, making biting down difficult
  • A bad taste or smell in the mouth
  • Pus or discharge from the gum near or surrounding the tooth
  • Signs and symptoms of more serious symptoms include swelling of lymph nodes located under your chin or swelling of the submandibular nodes, jaw muscle spasms, and swelling of the face.

It’s important to note that the diagnosis of pericoronitis is made during a clinical exam. If the dentist notes inflamed gum tissue of the partly erupted or unerupted wisdom tooth with swellings or pus, antibiotics will be prescribed to reduce swelling and infection, and wisdom tooth removal will be scheduled.

SO, HOW CAN A DENTIST HELP?

Most of the time, you won’t notice obvious signs that your wisdom tooth should be extracted. Your dentist needs to assess your wisdom tooth to determine if it will cause future dental health problems. They’ll perform a thorough assessment of your oral health; in a dental clinic, your dentist will take a look for possible signs of wisdom tooth decay by taking an X-ray. 

It’s important to see your dentist immediately if you notice any of the signs and symptoms of problems regarding the wisdom tooth that are listed above. Feeling discomfort, pain, or stiffness may indicate that your wisdom tooth is partially erupting or is infected by bacteria. Prompt removal of your wisdom tooth is necessary if it shows visible signs of tooth decay or is misaligned.