Dental Care

Everything You Need to Know About Wisdom Teeth

Wisdom teeth are located at the back of the mouth and are essentially the third set of molars. Not everyone will have wisdom teeth and this doesn’t mean anything is wrong with your oral health. In fact, it’s perfectly normal!

They usually come through between the ages of 18 to 25, but can still take several years to fully grow out, hence why they are known as wisdom teeth. Like any other tooth, a wisdom tooth can decay, get a cavity, become impacted, and even get stuck below or in the gumline.

Believe it or not, wisdom teeth aren’t totally necessary, and they are known for causing several problems such as infections, which is why they are commonly removed with wisdom tooth removal.

Wisdom Tooth Infections

Unfortunately, wisdom teeth are prone to becoming infected due to their position making it difficult to brush and floss properly. This means that plaque and food particles can accumulate, making the ideal environment for bacteria to grow.

When bacteria builds up or gets caught in the gum tissue, this can make you more susceptible to a wisdom tooth infection.

A partially impacted wisdom tooth also has a higher risk of infection due to the angle and shape of its growth.

Infected Wisdom Tooth Symptoms

Some of the common symptoms of a wisdom teeth infection include:

  • Pain in or around the tooth
  • Pain in the jaw or the side of the face
  • Swelling or redness of the gums around the tooth
  • Bad breath
  • Difficulty chewing
  • Difficulty opening the mouth
  • A fever
  • Swollen lymph glands

Impacted Wisdom Teeth

Surprisingly, not all wisdom teeth come through, and those that do not come through can become impacted and cause issues such as infections or damaging the surrounding teeth.

Impacted wisdom teeth occur when the tooth doesn’t have enough room to develop normally.

Impacted Wisdom Tooth Symptoms

Some of the most common symptoms of impacted wisdom teeth include:

  • Bleeding gums
  • Pain or discomfort in the jaw
  • Difficulty eating 
  • Difficulty opening your mouth
  • Persistent bad breath
  • An unpleasant taste in the mouth

How To Relieve Wisdom Tooth Pain

If you’re looking to temporarily relieve wisdom tooth pain, there are various things you can do. It’s important to understand that you visit the dentist if you are experiencing any problems with your wisdom teeth, as pain or discomfort always has a root cause.

Some ways to relieve wisdom tooth pain include:

  • Take ibuprofen / aspirin
  • Use numbing gel
  • Rinse with saltwater
  • Rinse with diluted tea tree oil
  • Rinse with menthol mouthwash
  • Apply an ice pack

Wisdom Tooth Removal

Each year, millions of patients have a wisdom tooth removed. If you are suffering from any of the symptoms listed above, we advise you to visit us as soon as possible.

There are a number of reasons why we would suggest having your wisdom tooth removed, including overcrowding, erupting sideways, or the increased risk of a bacterial infection. In some cases, we’ll suggest wisdom tooth removal if this will prevent problems in the future. At Perfect Smile Spa, we will carry out an x-ray to determine whether wisdom tooth removal is necessary.

When you come in for the procedure, we will start by making you as comfortable as possible. During your consultation, you may have spoken to us about oral or IV sedation for additional support to feel fully relaxed during your treatment. If sedation has been arranged, we will provide it alongside a pain-free local anaesthetic.

After wisdom tooth removal, you should be able to alleviate any pain with over-the-counter medication, or we may prescribe you medication at our clinic. To help with wisdom tooth removal pain, you can hold a cold ice pack against your jaw, drink lots of water and stick to soft foods.

We advise eating soft foods and liquids (avoiding hard foods) and using a manual toothbrush rather than electric one. We will also provide you with a prescription mouthwash tailored to your treatment, so you should avoid taking any over-the-counter mouthwash.

You should then be able to resume normal activities the next day, although we do recommend taking it easy.

Following on from wisdom tooth removal, we will discuss any follow-up visits to monitor the healing and answer any questions you may have.

Emergency Wisdom Tooth Removal

In some cases, you may require emergency wisdom tooth removal if you are experiencing any of the following issues:

  • Difficulty breathing or swallowing.
  • Blood that doesn’t stop oozing
  • Pain that lasts more than a week
  • A swollen face or jaw
  • A numb sensation 
  • Pus with a foul odour

How Can We Help?

At Perfect Smile Spa, we recognise how important a smile is to our patients and we pride ourselves on giving our patients the most pleasant dental experience to enable them to overcome any fears and maintain their teeth for the rest of their lives.

For more information on our dental treatments, please get in touch with us or call us on 01708 442 114.