Joseph Barbera (of Hanna-Barbera fame) once said, “Faced with the choice of enduring a bad toothache or going to the dentist, we generally tried to ride out the bad tooth.” Hopefully, he didn’t try to ride out issues related to wisdom teeth!
There are a variety of complications that can arise from your wisdom teeth, pain being the most noticeable. Unfortunately, like a late-night infomercial host, your wisdom tooth might say, “but wait… there’s more!”
We’ve previously talked about wisdom teeth on the blog (All about Wisdom Teeth Extraction), but that post focused on extraction. Check out that article to learn more about what wisdom teeth are and what’s involved in extracting them. Today we’re going to look more closely at some of the issues that wisdom teeth can produce.
The root cause of most wisdom tooth problems is when that tooth is “impacted.” Basically, an “impacted” wisdom tooth occurs when that tooth cannot/will not properly erupt from your gums. Their inability to erupt from the gums may be due to overcrowding, affecting their vertical/horizontal position in your jaw.
There are a variety of impacted tooth conditions, and terms for all of them. If you want to learn more about the different types of impacted wisdom teeth, this witty webcomic should help – “Wisdom Teeth Personalities” by Superchlorine.
Unfortunately, even if your wisdom tooth/teeth come in normally (without complications), there may still be some pain. Since most of your teeth came in when you were a baby or a very young child, you probably don’t remember the teething process. As a teenager or young adult (sometimes later), wisdom teeth are your last teeth to erupt from the gums – you’re definitely old enough to remember this teething pain!
Other sources of wisdom tooth pain come when the tooth is impacted, as explained above. If you’re dealing with a wisdom tooth pushing on another tooth, this may cause an achy sensation. Putting pressure on both teeth while chewing can cause sharper pain.
If your wisdom tooth is only partially erupted from the gums, food debris may get trapped between the tooth and the gums. Even under normal circumstances, wisdom teeth may be hard to clean due to their location at the back of your mouth. Compound that normal challenge with debris you can’t reach or may not even know it’s there and you have a recipe for decay or even an infection.
Of course, having an infection anywhere in your mouth can develop symptoms of pain or even a discharge of mucus (yuck). Infections have other risks as well, and even infections in your mouth can develop into serious conditions if not properly treated right away.
Last, But Not Least
We’ve barely scratched the surface concerning the nuances of wisdom teeth complications. However, these issues appear to be the most common with people who wrestle with their wisdom teeth. A lot of other issues related to wisdom teeth will be rooted in impacted teeth, pain, and infection.
Of course, you don’t need to fall prey to the prolonged pain of wisdom teeth! If you’re experiencing even mild symptoms of pain, or if you’re concerned about your wisdom teeth, please give us a call today. Let’s schedule a check-up to ensure you can be wise about your wisdom teeth.