Wisdom Tooth— Is Yours Infected?
Wisdom teeth usually start growing from the age of 17 till 25 or later in life. Since wisdom teeth are additional third molars, it is hard for them to find a place and settle in our mouths. Their placement and way of growth make them susceptible to decay. As a result, wisdom tooth infection may occur– which can be extremely painful! But worry not, since we have listed possible reasons behind these infections along with the symptoms and treatments.
Reasons Behind Wisdom Tooth Infection:
Wisdom tooth infection may occur due to the following reasons:
- Impaction: A wisdom tooth may partially erupt (partially impacted), or it may not erupt through the gum at all (fully impacted). A partially impacted wisdom tooth occurs at an angle, that is to say, never fully emerging above the gum line. This causes infection as the food particles and bacteria collect around the tooth, therefore leading to infection.
- Harder to brush or floss as they are positioned the farthest in the mouth, consequently collecting debris and bacteria.
- Cavity also leads to wisdom tooth infection. Wisdom teeth are more likely to develop cavities as they are harder to clean and might decay.
- Wisdom tooth extraction can cause infection as a complication of extraction.
The Symptoms of Infection:
You can tell you have a wisdom tooth infection if you experience these symptoms:
- Pain and/or sensitivity in or around your tooth.
- Your gums are swollen or bleeding.
- Bad breath
- A bad taste in the mouth
- Your jaw is stiff, swollen, and/ or in pain
- You are struggling with mouth movements
- There is white or yellow pus emerging from the site where the wisdom tooth used to be before extraction.
How to Treat An Infected Wisdom Tooth?
The wisdom tooth infection can be treated with the help of medications and dental treatments. The treatment depends on your tooth or infection. Your dentist might ask for an x-ray scan to proceed with the treatment. Treatment includes:
- Thorough cleansing of the tooth and surrounding area.
- A filling or crown in case of a cavity.
- The dentist might file down the sides of your tooth to prevent infection or make it smaller to avoid crowding the teeth.
- A course of antibiotics.
- Using antiseptic mouthwash to rinse your mouth and reduce infection.
- Removal or extraction of wisdom tooth.
- Coronectomy: the dentist might remove the top part of the tooth that is erupting. This protects the roots, nerves, and jawbone surrounding the tooth.
- Sometimes, the dentist removes the gum tissue, and as a result, the wisdom tooth grows easily.
To wrap it all up:
Wisdom teeth are the late-blooming third molars. Their method of growth and position often leads to an infection. But the good news is: you can treat the infection!
Just make sure to maintain good oral health, keep your mouth clean, and take all the precautions to prevent any painful tooth-related ordeals!