Wisdom teeth are the molars (back teeth) that come through last, usually in people’s late teens or early 20s. There are normally four wisdom teeth – two in the upper jaw and two in the lower jaw – but it is possible to have more, fewer, or even none at all.
Wisdom teeth can erupt (emerge through the gums) without causing any problems, but for some people, they can come through at an angle and push into the gum or the tooth beside them. This is called impaction and can be painful and cause infection.
Problems with wisdom teeth
If you are experiencing wisdom tooth pain, it is important to address the pain before you experience possible complications down the track, like a more invasive surgery (with higher costs).
Signs of Wisdom Teeth Pain include::
- Tenderness and jaw pain
- Bad taste in mouth when eating
- Cysts, which are pockets of liquid, around the tooth
- Swelling of the gums around the tooth
- Bad breath
When is there no need for wisdom tooth removal?
If you have a tolerable amount of pain and swollen gums, it is possible that the pain is caused by food and bacteria in or around the tooth and gums. This condition is known as pericoronitis and can be managed at home with improved oral hygiene practices. Home treatment should not replace medical intervention and you should still visit your dentist to hear their diagnosis and recommendations.
Home treatments your dentist may recommend include:
- Warm salt water rinses
- Regular oral hygiene practices including brushing and flossing
- Over the counter pain medication
Are your wisdom teeth causing you pain?
If you suspect your oral pain to be associated with your wisdom teeth it is important to make an appointment with our dentists right away.
- There is not enough room in your mouth for your wisdom teeth to erupt properly
- You are experiencing: pain, infection and/or damage to other teeth’