A wisdom tooth infection can be excruciating. The pain associated with this condition should be treated immediately to prevent further complications. In fact, having an infected wisdom tooth is a typical indication related to impacted wisdom teeth. You can book an appointment with reputable dental practices, like Macquarie Dental’s clinic in Sydney CBD, to check the development of your wisdom teeth. Keep reading to know what to do when facing wisdom tooth infections.
What are Wisdom Teeth?
Wisdom teeth are the last set of teeth to grow. They are the enormous teeth at the back of your mouth, known as the third molars. Generally, the vast majority get wisdom teeth between the age of 17 and 25. Similar to other teeth, a wisdom tooth can:
- get a cavity
- get stuck underneath or in the gumline
- become impacted
In any case, there are different things you can experience as a result of a tooth infection. Remember that if you have a wisdom tooth infection, it is crucial to get treatment from a dentist.
How Wisdom Tooth Infection Happens
Since wisdom teeth are more difficult to clean, they can get infected. Bacteria and food debris can get caught between the tooth and gums. The space between them can be easy to miss when you brush and floss your teeth.
Though some people may develop wisdom teeth properly, others have an impacted wisdom tooth that may not emerge correctly through their gums. It might partially erupt, set at an angle, or grow entirely sideways.
Most of the time, a partially erupted wisdom tooth has a greater danger of infection since its development makes decay bound to happen. A cavity or tooth infection occurs when abundant bacteria create openings in the outer, hard enamel surface.
Various types of bacteria can cause an infection in and around a wisdom tooth. Rarely, the condition can progress to other parts of the mouth and head.
Different Causes of Pain
Know that you can experience pain in your wisdom teeth even if they are not infected. You may also have some pain symptoms after your oral surgeon or dentist removes your wisdom tooth. Other reasons for a toothache are:
Gum pain can cause a condition called pericoronitis. Pericoronitis happens when the gums around or over a wisdom tooth get infected. Other symptoms of pericoronitis are red, painful, swollen gums.
New or Impacted Tooth
A recently developing wisdom tooth can result in pain when it grows in the gums. In addition, an impacted wisdom tooth can likewise cause swelling, pain, and inflammation in the gums.
Cysts may develop around or over a wisdom tooth. It is a liquid-filled sack that structures over an entirely or partially erupted wisdom tooth. It may feel like a solid bump or swelling in the gum. The tension against your tooth or jawbone can feel excruciating. In any case, a cyst can prompt an infection and other dental concerns.
If there is no sufficient space for the wisdom tooth to develop, it could be impacted and pushed against an adjacent tooth. This can make other teeth move a little bit, prompting tenderness, pain, and swelling. Additionally, the pressure may likewise cause root harm and cracks in the teeth.
A dry socket is a typical dental issue when the empty tooth socket does not recover correctly. Typically, blood clot structures in the tooth socket should occur to protect the bone and nerve endings in the jaw. Suppose this development does not appear. In that case, the exposed nerves might cause pain that starts one to three days after the dentist pulls out the tooth.
Slowed healing can make pain proceed even after the surgeon or dentist removes your infected wisdom tooth. Poor nutrition and smoking can prolong the healing period and lead to a socket infection or gum infection. In addition, some prescriptions and treatments, like chemotherapy, can also delay healing. At times, the empty socket may not recover, prompting an infection in the gums or jawbone.
Most people find out about their impacted wisdom teeth when painful symptoms start to exist. However, going to your orthodontist can help in monitoring the growth progression of your wisdom teeth. With this, complications such as infection may help to prevent it from happening. In any case, treatment for a wisdom tooth infection may include:
Sometimes, taking antibiotics is essential to clear up an infection in a wisdom tooth. You might have to require this at least a week before getting oral surgery to remove or repair the affected tooth. In fact, antibiotics help to mend an infected tooth and keep bacteria from progressing.
Your doctor or dentist may prescribe antibiotics like amoxicillin. They may also suggest pain relievers before and after a wisdom tooth infection, such as ibuprofen or aspirin.
When the dentist cleared the infection, he may require you to make an appointment with him again to remove or repair the tooth. Fixing a cavity in a wisdom tooth is like fixing up other teeth. In this treatment, your dentist may need to use a dental filling or crown.
In addition, your dentist may likewise file down the sides or upper part of the tooth. This eliminates uneven or rough edges that can promote food and bacteria to build up. Also, it helps to form the tooth slightly smaller if there is crowding.
The dentist can entirely or partly remove your damaged wisdom tooth. If you have an impacted wisdom tooth infection, oral surgery might be necessary. This procedure helps prevent future complications.
Your dentist or oral surgeon may eliminate gum tissue from the upper part of an impacted wisdom tooth to promote its development. Another procedure, called a coronectomy, removes just the upper piece of a wisdom tooth. The technique helps secure the nerves, roots, and jawbone around the tooth.
Home remedies cannot address a wisdom tooth infection. Nevertheless, some basic approaches might provide temporary relief from the pain and discomfort. You can try the following treatments if you need to wait to visit your dentist. Common home remedies to manage painful symptoms are:
- Saltwater rinse
- Hydrogen peroxide
- Cold compress
- Clove oil
- Over-the-counter pain medication and numbing gels
When To See a Doctor
Contact your dentist and book an appointment if you have any discomfort in or around your wisdom tooth. Know that this can be challenging to notice. That is why your dentist will probably conduct a dental exam and an X-ray scan to identify the underlying cause.
In any case, don’t ignore any of the following symptoms:
- bad taste in your mouth
- bad breath
- red or bleeding gums
- pain or sensitivity
- jaw swelling
- tender or swollen gums
- jaw or face pain
- stiff jaw
- pus in your mouth or gums
- bleeding gums
- difficulty opening your mouth, speaking or breathing.
Moreover, you may have nausea, chills, fever, or headache pain due to a wisdom tooth infection.
No one can prevent an impacted wisdom tooth from happening. So, make a regular visit with the dentist for checkups to help prevent wisdom tooth complications.
Remember that excellent oral hygiene, such as brushing and flossing your teeth, can help prevent your wisdom teeth from getting infected.
Third molars: To extract or not to extract?
Everything you need to know about dry socket.
Smoking greatly increases risk of complications after surgery.