Do you ever wonder what wisdom tooth pain or complications are caused by? Wisdom tooth discomfort often flares up, then dies down, and then returns days or even weeks later. By a certain point, the discomfort will just stay permanently.
What are Wisdom Teeth?
The wisdom teeth are the 3rd and last set of molars that develop. They often cause problems for adjacent teeth because they are often impacted or angled into the neighboring teeth.
Common Complications Seen in Wisdom Teeth
Some of the most common issues caused by wisdom teeth include:
Periodontal disease or decay.
Even those of us who have excellent oral hygiene may be at risk of developing cavities or gum disease around wisdom teeth. Third molars can easily become infected because they are hard to reach with a toothbrush and floss. While it is possible to treat gum infections and cavities, wisdom teeth typically cause recurring, long-term issues. Removing them is preferable to re-treating decay or gum disease over and over. Plus, these infections can spread to adjacent teeth, affecting the health of your entire smile.
Facial swelling and cysts.
Each tooth has a natural cyst that forms around it during tooth development. This cyst usually disappears once it erupts. Wisdom teeth are more susceptible to enlarge cysts, especially if they are impacted inside of the jaw. The cyst then continues to grow, causing swelling in the face and jaw.
Damage to adjacent bone structure and teeth.
The structures next to impacted wisdom teeth can be damaged by pressure, infection, or the cysts around them. It’s better to remove at-risk wisdom teeth than to put the healthy neighboring teeth at risk. Sometimes wisdom teeth are removed solely for the benefit of other teeth in your mouth.
Crowded, crooked teeth.
Wisdom teeth tend to push into adjacent teeth as they grow. This can lead to a chain reaction in which teeth shift around the mouth and tilt toward the middle of your smile. This movement causes crowding and overlapping. If you’ve recently completed orthodontic treatment, wisdom tooth pressure may lead to a relapse in your tooth alignment.
Wisdom teeth pressure often flares up, goes away, then comes back. The cycle usually continues for several months or even years until it remains constant to the point that the teeth need to be removed.
Signs You Need Wisdom Tooth Removal
Pain is the most common reason people visit our Mesa office to have their wisdom teeth examined. But removing them can often be related to the health of nearby teeth rather than the integrity of the wisdom tooth itself.
These are the top reasons to speak to our Mesa dentist regarding wisdom tooth removal:
- Wisdom teeth that are impacted or pressing against the neighboring teeth, causing damage to adjacent tooth structures.
- Difficulty cleaning around your wisdom teeth because of lack of space or partial eruption.
- Active tooth decay or periodontitis around your wisdom tooth. Infected wisdom teeth should be removed because they are more susceptible to re-infection.
- Uncomfortable swelling or pressure in your mouth.
- Large cysts and tumors around the tooth, as seen on your dental X-rays.
- A bad taste coming from that area of your mouth.
- To prevent tooth movement following orthodontic treatment.
- Inadequate spacing due to a small jaw.
Our Mesa dentist will take a digital X-ray of your jaws and teeth to assess the development and location of your third molars. While most people have four, it is not unusual for people to have one or two extra small teeth. Others may be missing one or two of them altogether.
The Eastport Dental team will walk you through our findings to help you to plan your smile’s next steps.
Is My Wisdom Tooth Impacted?
Wisdom teeth that are partially or fully impacted are either lodged into the bone or against another tooth. The pressure it creates can cause a dull ache in your jaw. Mild swelling or redness may also be present.
For temporary relief, try applying cold compresses to the area or taking over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medications such as ibuprofen (Motrin). To prevent unwanted dental complications, your wisdom tooth will need to be examined by our Mesa dentist as early as possible.
Wisdom Tooth Exams in Mesa
Eastport Dental offers wisdom tooth evaluations for teens and adults of all ages. Typically, wisdom teeth are fully developed by a person’s late 20s. If you suspect an impacted wisdom tooth for you, your teen, or college student, contact our dentist in Mesa today to reserve an exam.