Wisdom teeth are the third and final set of molars to develop, usually during adulthood. These teeth are located at the back of your jaw, and most people have four wisdom teeth in total – two on the top jaw and two on the bottom.
They do not begin to form until you are about seven or eight years old, as opposed to the other adult teeth, which grow and erupt during your childhood years. Wisdom teeth typically erupt between the ages of 18 and 30, but no later than 30.
Wisdom tooth problems only occur when there is insufficient space in your jaw or your wisdom tooth becomes stuck in the wrong position while erupting. This is a fairly common scenario, which is why they frequently cause pain and discomfort when they emerge.
You may not need to extract your wisdom teeth at all, as pain and discomfort caused by wisdom teeth growth is quite normal in some cases. To determine whether or not you require wisdom teeth removal, contact your dentist and discuss your specific situation.
Why are wisdom teeth problematic?
Wisdom teeth can be extremely painful, and an estimated 85% of people have them extracted. Human jaws have shrunk in size over time. Nowadays, your jaw rarely has enough room for 32 teeth (including your wisdom teeth). Wisdom teeth that do not have enough room to grow into begin to push against other teeth, causing pain and discomfort.
Wisdom teeth that have become impacted
An impacted wisdom tooth is one that cannot fully emerge to the surface and is only partially emerging or has remained hidden in the gums. These teeth will have an impact on the health of your surrounding teeth as well as cause other oral health issues.
A tooth that has been pushed out at an incorrect angle will directly impact the surrounding teeth by pushing them out of place and may cause overcrowding of teeth, which will affect your entire jawline over time. Impacted wisdom teeth may make the tooth next to your wisdom tooth, the second molar, more vulnerable to infections or decay.
If you have any tooth pain, you should see your dentist right away because it may not be just one tooth that is in trouble in the case of impacted wisdom teeth. Because of decay, you may need to have more than one tooth extracted – not just the original wisdom tooth, but also the one next to it.
What are the problems with your wisdom teeth?
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Wisdom teeth can cause a variety of symptoms, including:
Soreness and bleeding or swollen gums:
When wisdom teeth emerge, they will push against neighbouring teeth, causing them to move and shift. This movement can cause jaw discomfort, with symptoms such as pain, swelling, and stiffness, making opening the jaw and even breathing difficult. They can also make your gums swollen and red, making them painful to touch, and in some cases, causing the gums in the area to bleed.
Wisdom teeth erupting in the upper jaw may cause sinus problems. This is due to the fact that the roots of wisdom teeth occasionally develop and grow up against the sinus cavity, causing immense pressure and pain. If your wisdom teeth interfere with your sinuses, you may experience headaches and congestion.
Problem in chewing food:
When wisdom teeth emerge, they can make it difficult to chew food. It could be simply growing pains as the tooth emerges, putting pressure on the other teeth, or it could be an indication of an impacted tooth causing problems. If your teeth have shifted, the misalignment may make it difficult to move your jaw.
How to Self-treat your wisdom tooth pain?
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If you are experiencing pain as a result of new wisdom teeth emerging, you should schedule an appointment with your dentist to have the situation evaluated. Here are some at-home remedies you can try to alleviate your discomfort while you wait for your new wisdom teeth to come in.
Pain relievers sold over the counter
Because of its anti-inflammatory properties, ibuprofen is an excellent treatment for swollen gums and a sore jaw. Aspirin and paracetamol are effective pain relievers. It will take the edge off the pain in your mouth and jaw. It is critical, however, that you consult your doctor to ensure that there are no contraindications to taking this medication, and that you take them exactly as prescribed.
Rinse with saltwater
Rinsing with a warm water and salt solution will help promote gum health while also killing any bacteria that may be present.
Use an ice pack
If you have swollen gums and a sore jaw, you can use an ice pack to numb the area around your cheek. This will aid in the reduction of inflammation. You can also try swishing some ice water in your mouth; the cold will numb the area and relieve pain.
When you have wisdom tooth pain, avoid applying heat to your face. This is due to the fact that heat can aggravate an infection and cause even more swelling and pain.
Wisdom teeth removal procedures
The dentist will perform a thorough examination of your teeth during your initial consultation. This will allow them to provide you with more information about whether you need your wisdom teeth extracted or not. Often, this will necessitate an OPG, which is a full mouth x-ray, so that the dentist can accurately examine your wisdom teeth as well as the surrounding structures. Depending on your specific situation, your dentist may offer you a few options.