The wisdom teeth are the third set of molars that erupt much later than the rest of the permanent teeth, usually between the ages of sixteen to twenty years. Sometimes, there may not be enough room in the mouth for these teeth to erupt, causing them to either emerge partially or at an angle. Such a condition can cause pain, swelling, and infection in the mouth and calls for the wisdom teeth to be extracted in order to avoid damage to the other teeth.
An impacted or blocked wisdom tooth could be painless in some cases, and you may not realize that there is something wrong. When the tooth tries to erupt from the gum, the flap of the gum sometimes becomes swollen and causes pain in the nearby teeth and in the ear on that side of the face. If left untreated, the infection caused by an impacted tooth can spread to the neck and throat. Impacted teeth are also prone to cavities and can also cause the nearby molars to shift.
The pain caused by an impacted wisdom tooth can occur for several days and then disappear, only to resurface weeks or months later. The following symptoms could indicate an impacted wisdom tooth:
- Pain while chewing or biting
- Swelling of the gums near the wisdom teeth
- Bad breath and bad taste in the mouth
- Difficulty in opening your mouth due to jaw pain
When you visit one of our offices for a wisdom tooth extraction, we will begin by taking an X-ray to analyze the position of the tooth and the appropriate way to extract it. The procedure starts with the administration of anesthesia or sedation as necessary. After that, the tooth is carefully removed, and the site is cleaned. Gauze is placed to control bleeding. The extraction site needs time to heal after the surgery. You may experience some swelling and pain. Stick to soft foods, and avoid smoking and drinking for a few days after the procedure. You can use an icepack to control swelling.
For more information, please call Heresi Dental Care at (540) 249-1849.