Feeling something uncomfortable at the back of your mouth? Oral pain has such a wide variety of causes that we definitely can’t give you the answer in a blog post – you’ll need to see your dentist to get to the root of the problem. But if you have wisdom teeth, you have a clue as to what the issue might be.
Wisdom teeth are some of the most commonly extracted, because they can lead to a slew of dental problems, including impaction. Since they no longer have much use in chewing or biting, pulling these troublesome teeth is typically the best route. Wondering why your wisdom teeth exist, and what you should do about them?
With the recent advances in dentistry, it is uncommon for symptoms of wisdom teeth to appear before the teeth are removed. Dentists, more often than not, will recommend they be removed before they cause a problem. However, that’s not always the case, and you can experience symptoms as a result of your wisdom teeth.
Causes of Wisdom Tooth Impaction
Because the human jaw has become smaller over many centuries, but third molars still remain, it’s easy for those teeth to become impacted or blocked by the surrounding teeth or gums. Essentially, there’s just not enough room for them to erupt. When the third molars begin attempting to take their places in the mouth, this can set off a chain reaction of problems. Teeth may be partially impacted, with the crown showing through the gums, or fully impacted, with the tooth remaining beneath the gums. When teeth are impacted, they may grow:
- At an angle toward the second molar
- Angle toward the back of the mouth
- Right angle to other teeth
- Straight up and down (like other teeth) but trapped within the jawbone
Pain is often an indicator of oral health concerns. Mouth or tooth pain should never be ignored because it can lead to worse or permanent damage if left untreated. Pain-related to your wisdom teeth usually occurs in the back of the mouth or behind the molars. Most often wisdom tooth pain is a result of the teeth being aligned incorrectly or sideways, which causes them to crowd surrounding teeth and press on sensitive nerves and bone.
Red or swollen gums in the area could be an indicator of infection. As wisdom teeth start to come through the surface, bacteria can enter the open tissue. Oral infections have been shown to affect overall health and should be treated promptly. Other signs of infection include bad breath or an unpleasant taste in your mouth.
If our jawbone or teeth block your wisdom teeth from breaking through the surface, your wisdom teeth are said to be impacted. Impacted wisdom teeth can cause severe jaw pain and difficulty opening your mouth. In addition to causing bleeding, redness, and swelling in the area, they can lead to cysts and, in rare cases, tumors.
The most common treatment for wisdom teeth symptoms is to extract the teeth. This can be done at a dentist’s office or by an oral surgeon. The condition of the teeth, whether they have broken through the surface, and their angle will determine the appropriate method for extraction. Your dentist will explain the options available to you and can offer medication and anesthesia for pain relief. It’s important to follow all care instructions after any oral surgery.