Wisdom Tooth Pain
Wisdom teeth are adult third molars and are usually the last adult teeth to erupt, most commonly happening after 18 years of age. If there is enough space in the mouth and the teeth are in the correct position, they will come through naturally and with little discomfort. However, not all wisdom teeth will erupt in the right orientation and this is when an individual can experience problems often associated with pain. Pain usually occurs when Pericoronitis (inflammation of the gum around a tooth) occurs, leading to Osteitis (inflammation of the bone). When wisdom teeth are unable to erupt normally as a result of overcrowding they become ‘impacted, this is why the condition is known as impacted wisdom teeth.
At Dental Health Centre, we assess your wisdom teeth during a general checkup by looking at shape and alignment.
If the teeth are fully impacted we monitor it. If the angle of the wisdom tooth is pushing into the molar next to it, then wisdom teeth removal may need to take place. If the teeth fully erupt and the angle is good we shift our focus to keeping the tooth and area clean as it can be difficult to reach that area of the mouth with a toothbrush. Only if the erupted teeth start to decay from trapped bacteria will we recommend them to be removed.
If removal is needed, an Orthopantomogram X-ray (OPG) is ordered to view details of vital structures around the tooth.
Impacted wisdom teeth can be an extremely painful experience if left untreated. We recommend having a general 6-month checkup with one of our dentists today to maintain good oral hygiene and monitor wisdom teeth growth. General dental check-ups will minimise the chance of pain developing due to infection and other common problems such as a higher decay rate as erupted teeth at times are too far back and difficult to keep clean.