Wisdom Tooth Pain: Main Causes and Treatment

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Wisdom tooth pain is something many patients have experienced. They describe it as an unbearable pain, as something extremely uncomfortable. Let’s see what it is, what’s causing it and how it’s treated.

Wisdom tooth is a colloquial term for a third molar. They have nothing to do with intelligence, of course, they’re called like that because they’re the last to come through. Unfortunately, this is where the whole problem lies. Human’s teeth are already formed by the time wisdom teeth start to appear, and this process might cause a bunch of health issues. We’re not even talking about the sometimes unbearable pain this process brings with it.

Generally wisdom teeth appear between late teens and early twenties. Most adults have four wisdom teeth, however, it is possible to have just one, two, three, or none at all. Since the wisdom teeth break out when all the other teeth are already in place, they may get impacted, or, we could say, stuck, against other teeth because there is not enough space for them. This can cause wisdom tooth pain in jaw. They’re still being removed because it is believed they could move the other teeth and cause crowding, although recent studies show that this is not the case. The main problem with impacted wisdom tooth is tooth decay, since it is a very hard-to-reach area and oral hygiene becomes very challenging to keep there. Also, when the wisdom tooth comes through, but only partially, it may cause inflammation.

These issues are usually dealt with by simple extraction of the tooth. Many dentists do preventive removal of these teeth before any problems occur. This method is not welcome by everyone, but many people opt for it just to avoid running into wisdom toothache.

You need to make an appointment with your dentist as soon as you feel a toothache, especially if you’re in a risk group, because it might be wisdom toothache. They will assess your teeth and decide what to do next. They’ll most likely do an X-Ray of your mouth to make a decision. Wisdom teeth don’t need to be removed even if they’re impacted or have partially erupted. They should be removed if they possess a high risk of causing other dental problems, like tooth decay, gum disease, inflammation, etc.

Wisdom tooth extraction can be performed by a dentist, or, in some cases, by a surgeon at the hospital. The procedure itself is usually pretty simple. You’re given a local anesthetic to desensitize the area near the tooth, and then it is extracted by the specialist. Sometimes they’ll need to make a small cut on the gum, especially if the tooth has only partly grown through. They may also need to divide the tooth into a bunch of pieces for easy removal. This is also done to make the hole where the tooth was smaller and unnoticeable. The same procedure is performed while extracting the wisdom tooth on the upper jaw. It is a bit harder to reach, however, and may take longer. Top wisdom tooth pain is very severe, too, so you don’t want to delay your visit to the dentist if you experience it.

Wisdom tooth swelling might come after the procedure. It usually lasts up to 3 days. Pain after wisdom teeth removal is possible, too. There’s a condition called “dry socket”. It is more likely to occur if the patient doesn’t stick to the advice given to him by the dentist.

If you have made an appointment with the dentist, here’s how to ease wisdom teeth pain while you wait:

  1. Ibuprofen. This is a painkiller that can assist you in reducing the inflammation. It can be effective until the patient can see their dentist for treatment. You should follow the instruction on the package, though, and take a recommended dose.
  2. Pack of ice. Get a pack of ice, put it into a kitchen towel and apply to your cheek. This will aid in lessening inflammation and may even have a slight numbing effect. Hold it there for 15 minutes, remove it, then repeat if the pain starts to grow.
  3. Rinsing with salt water. Salt water has antibacterial properties, and sometimes the spread of bacteria might be the cause of the pain. It is advised to rinse two to three times a day.

As you can see, toothache might actually be a wisdom tooth growing pain, and this is more likely if you are aged 18-25. You should visit your dentist at your earliest convenience because it can cause a number of health issues. It doesn’t always require a wisdom tooth extraction, but you need to consult with your dentist to learn what to do next.

Wisdom teeth generally come through before the age of 25. If it hasn’t happened by that time, dentists usually consider its’ eruption unlikely. So you should not worry about it too much or decide to extract them nevertheless. If they’re not bothering you and don’t cause any pain, it’s better to not interrupt with them, since it might even be harmful. Hopefully you won’t have to face wisdom tooth pain at any point and they will come through naturally, but if it happens - you’re informed and you know what to do in that situation.