Wisdom teeth are found among the third set of molars in our teeth which grows or appears when a person is between the ages of 16 to 25. These are the last set of teeth that appears in our mouth. A normal adult will have four wisdom teeth, there is also a possibility of having more than four teeth and they are called as supernumerary teeth. Properly positioned and healthy wisdom teeth do not create any problems in an individual. Sometimes, the growth of the wisdom teeth can affect the other teeth, like developing sideways and impacting the rest of the other teeth or growing inwards, not having enough space to develop etc. Various types of dental procedures are performed to treat the different scenarios which cause wisdom teeth pain. Oral pain can occur due to several reasons, it is always better to visit a dentist when you are experiencing any pain related to your oral health.
Wisdom tooth pain can be caused due to several factors, the pain can occur gradually or it can just erupt overnight. Some of the most common causes for wisdom teeth pain are described below:
- Impaction –Impacted wisdom tooth’s are caused when the teeth doesn’t erupt through your gums, this happens when a person’s is not large enough to accommodate the erupting tooth. Cysts can also be formed under the area of the impacted tooth. Impacted wisdom teeth are classified into different categories based upon their positioning they are:
- Vertical Impaction: When the fully developed teeth doesn’t break through the gum line.
- Horizontal Impaction: This happens when the wisdom teeth grows sideways (full 90 degrees) into the roots of the second molar.
- Mesioangular Impaction: In this condition the wisdom teeth is angled towards the front teeth.
- Distoangular Impaction: Here the wisdom tooth is angled towards the rear end of the mouth or backwards.
- Partial Eruption – The wisdom teeth sometimes erupt partially due to the space constraint, in these cases some part of the tooth is below the gum in the area of the biting surface. This causes swelling and inflammation; it is also very difficult to clean this tooth which can lead into the development of gum disease. This can cause the development of pericoronitis, a condition which is caused when the gums around the wisdom tooth gets infected.
- Tooth Decay – Since the wisdom teeth are located at the inner end of the mouth, it is often difficult to reach it with brush and is difficult to clean it properly. This may lead to the accumulation of bacteria leading to infection of the teeth, redness and swelling of the area around the teeth. Proper medical attention along with regular cleaning or extraction of the affected wisdom tooth in extreme conditions may be required.
The symptoms for wisdom tooth which can cause severe pain can include the following:
- Pain in the jaw or stiffness of the jaw in the area near the impacted tooth
- Crowding of other teeth in our mouth
- Gum disease or tooth infection due to improper care of wisdom teeth mainly caused due to its positioning and due to space constraints.
- Swelling of the gums over the partially erupted tooth or that tooth which has been partially broken beneath the gum
- Having severe pain when you are trying to stretch the muscles of the tissues that are inflamed due to pain
- Bad breath due to the bacterial infection and dirt collecting in the area
- Experiencing bad taste in your mouth
- Ear pain which is outward near your cheek area
- Difficulty in chewing and tenderness due to swollen areas in the gum caused by the infection
- Ulcers due to the impacted teeth affecting the other soft tissues of the mouth
Sometimes, the wisdom tooth doesn’t create any signs in spite of being infected. Most problems related to wisdom teeth develop within the time period of 15 to 25, in many situations adults over 30 require the removal of the wisdom teeth due to the problems mentioned above. The symptoms related to wisdom teeth pain can be present for a few days before clearing up entirely. The time duration between the symptoms may follow a regular pattern or can just be at random, sometimes the pain persist continuously until an individual receives proper medical attention. Some of the adverse symptoms of wisdom tooth pain include muscle spasm in the jaw area, swelling of the jaw or the face, general malaise accompanied with fever or swelling of the lymph nodes that are present under the chin. These symptoms require immediate medical attention and cause severe problems when they are not treated properly.
The common method used for diagnosing problems related to the wisdom teeth is to take the X-ray of your teeth. The dentist will then examine them to identify the extent of the impact caused by the wisdom teeth that is causing pain now and also the possible tooth’s which can create problem in the future.
The most common treatment for the several symptoms caused by wisdom teeth pain is the extraction or removal of the particular tooth. Early identification and removal of the teeth during the young age is comparatively easier and will have lesser side effects on the individual since the roots and the jaws would not have developed completely. When people remove their wisdom teeth after their 20 years of their age, the healing process will take a bit longer since the jaw bones will be harder and the roots of the teeth would have developed fully. Hence, the healing process will be faster and the patients can recover sooner. In some of the developed countries general extraction of the wisdom teeth is recommended in order to avoid future problems since taking proper care of these teeth is difficult due to their positioning in the far end of the mouth. On the other hand some experts oppose the idea of removing the teeth which doesn’t create any problem.