What is a Wisdom Tooth?To understand what a wisdom tooth is, it's necessary to know that teeth erupt in various stages. First come the incisors, then the canines. After that come the premolars and, finally, the wisdom teeth. Typically, this happens between the ages of 17 and 21. However, some people go through that process later in their lives.
Also known as third molars, wisdom teeth appear at the back of the mouth. Unfortunately, despite being barely useful, these molars can cause discomfort and pain as they come out and, in some cases, even after they have come out.
In other instances, these teeth can only partially erupt or remain buried underneath the gum tissue. For that reason, many people make the decision to have their third molars removed by a qualified dentist.
Signs of Wisdom Tooth Problems
Apart from the normal amount of wisdom teeth pain that's caused by the teeth erupting, there are various symptoms that indicate the tooth is impacted. As a result, it is very likely that this tooth will need to be removed to prevent further problems, including prolonged pain, infection, damage to adjacent teeth, gum disease and cysts. Because all these complications may be dangerous and painful if they are let to develop, it is important to seek medical attention as soon as you get one or more of the following symptoms:
- Tender glands
- Neck and shoulder pain
- Facial pain
- Painful and bleeding gums
- Teeth surrounding the wisdom teeth
- Difficulty opening and closing mouth
- Swelling of the gums, glands and sinuses.
- Cronic bad breath.
- A constant bad taste in the mouth.
- Food consistently tasting odd or off.
Dangers of an Impacted Wisdom Tooth
In combination with the regular discomfort and pain caused by a tooth erupting, any of these symptoms may be a sign that the third molar is impacted. The term impacted is used to describe a tooth that does not come out straight, often lying on its side and pressing up against the tooth that is adjacent to it. As a result, diverse problems such as crowding and improper bite alignment can be caused.
Another problem that may arise due to an impacted wisdom tooth is pericoronitis. This term refers to an infection caused by bacteria from food that becomes lodged in the space that is between the impacted tooth and the gum tissue. As if that wasn't bad enough, problems may also occur when people lack the space for wisdom teeth to come in, often prompting an emergency extraction. In many cases, this lack of space can be due to previous orthodontia treatments.
How to Treat Wisdom Tooth Pain?
Even if they are coming out correctly and without complications, the eruption of wisdom teeth can be very painful. If this is the case, finding wisdom teeth pain treatment near me can be the right move. However, if the wisdom tooth that is erupting is not impacted, the pain that it causes can be treated at home. Minor irritation can be helped by rinsing with warm salt water that is typically prepared by mixing half a teaspoon of salt in 8 ounces of water. If that does not do it, you can try over-the-counter pain relievers.
If, on the other hand, you have experienced any of the previously described symptoms, it is likely that your wisdom tooth will cause complications and problems. For that reason, it's important to visit your local Tarzana dentist for a consultation. It is very likely that they will use an x-ray machine to determine what the best course of action would be. More often than not, their suggestion will be that it's necessary to extract the problematic third molar.
If you are worried about your wisdom teeth causing problems in the future, it is possible to have them preventively removed at a young age. Because at this age they aren't fully developed, they may be easier to pull out.