Wisdom teeth are also known as third molars. They often make their grand entrance during our late teens or early twenties. These latecomers to the dental scene can be a source of trouble, especially when they become infected.
“In this blog, we’ll talk about wisdom teeth infections, explore the signs, symptoms and treatment options. We will also provide you with valuable insights to take better care of your oral health.”
What is Wisdom Teeth Infection?
Wisdom teeth are the last set of molars to emerge at the back of your mouth. They typically appear between the ages of 17 and 25, a time when many people are transitioning into adulthood.
However, not all individuals have enough space in their mouths for these additional teeth. Which can lead to various complications including wisdom teeth infection.
Signs and Symptoms of a Wisdom Tooth Infection
Identifying a wisdom tooth infection early is crucial for prompt treatment. Here are some key signs and symptoms to be aware of:
Pain is undoubtedly the most prevalent and unmistakable indicator of an infected wisdom tooth. It typically manifests as a persistent, throbbing ache in the back of your mouth. This pain can be quite intense.
The pain associated with a wisdom tooth infection can range from mild to excruciating. It tends to worsen over time as the infection progresses. This constant discomfort can significantly impact your daily life and may affect everything from eating to sleeping.
Inflammation and swelling are common accompanying symptoms of an infected wisdom tooth. The gum tissue around the affected area can become noticeably swollen, making it challenging to open your mouth fully. The swollen gums may feel tender to the touch and add to the overall discomfort.
Redness in the gum tissue around the wisdom tooth is another sign of infection. The inflammation caused by the infection can cause the gums to take on a reddish hue. This redness is often accompanied by tenderness and sensitivity in the area.
As the infection progresses and causes pain, swelling, and tenderness, it becomes increasingly challenging to chew or bite down comfortably. The discomfort caused by an infected wisdom tooth can make the simple act of eating a painful experience.
Many people with this condition may start to avoid certain foods or chew on the opposite side of their mouth to minimize the pain.
Wisdom teeth infection presents a range of symptoms that can vary in severity. These symptoms often start with localized pain, swelling, and redness, which can progress to difficulty chewing and bad breath.
Causes of Wisdom Tooth Infections
Understanding the factors that pave the way for wisdom tooth infections is essential to appreciate the nuances of this oral health concern. These complications can arise due to a combination of various factors including genetics and oral hygiene practices.
- Impaction: Wisdom teeth often do not have enough space to emerge properly. It may lead to impaction. This condition creates pockets where bacteria can easily accumulate.
- Poor Oral Hygiene: Neglecting proper dental care including regular brushing and flossing, can create an environment conducive to infection.
- Crowding: If your mouth is already crowded with teeth, the eruption of wisdom teeth can further disrupt your dental alignment and increase the risk of infection.
While some people have adequate space in their mouths to accommodate these additional molars without issue, others face complications that can lead to infections. So if you are experiencing wisdom teeth infection due to any of these causes, you should see a dentist asap.
Taking Care of Wisdom Teeth Infections
If you suspect you have a wisdom tooth infection, it’s essential to take prompt action. Here are the steps to follow:
1. Consult a Dentist
The first and most crucial step is to seek professional dental care. Your dentist will assess the condition of your wisdom teeth and recommend the appropriate treatment.
2. Pain Management
While awaiting your dental appointment, you can manage pain by taking over-the-counter pain relievers as directed. Avoid placing aspirin directly on the gum as it may cause burns.
3. Warm Saltwater Rinses
Gargling with warm salt water can help reduce inflammation and promote healing. Mix half a teaspoon of salt in a glass of warm water and rinse your mouth gently several times a day.
In some cases, your dentist may prescribe antibiotics to control the infection before any dental procedures can be performed.
5. Dental Procedures
The type of dental procedure required depends on the severity of the infection and the positioning of the wisdom tooth. Common treatments include:
- Tooth Extraction: If the infection is severe, extraction may be necessary to remove the problematic wisdom tooth.
- Incision and Drainage: In cases where the infection has created an abscess (a pocket of pus), your dentist may need to make an incision to drain the pus and alleviate pressure.
- Root Canal: In rare instances a root canal procedure may be performed to save a severely infected wisdom tooth.
6. Follow-Up Care
After any dental procedure, it’s crucial to follow your dentist’s instructions for post-operative care. This often includes maintaining good oral hygiene, avoiding certain foods, and taking prescribed medications.
Wisdom teeth infections can be painful and disruptive to your daily life. Recognizing the signs and seeking timely treatment are essential steps in managing these infections.
Remember that your dentist is your best ally in maintaining your oral health, so don’t hesitate to reach out for professional advice and care.
By taking preventive measures and seeking prompt treatment, you can ensure that your wisdom teeth don’t cause unnecessary discomfort and complications in the long run. Your smile and overall well-being are worth the effort.