Why do wisdom teeth hurt?

At Allenton Dental we like to make people aware of the most common problems that can occur within the mouth and reassure them that dental intervention is not always necessary especially if the problem can be dealt with at home. Patients who come to the practice with pain at the rear of their mouths can a lot of the time be due to the wisdom teeth, which begin to come through from the age of 17 to 25. The process of the wisdom teeth coming through can be quite painful due to the way they erupt. The pain can differ depending on the cause and there are several techniques to minimise the discomfort felt at this time.

Wisdom teeth tend to come through in stages and there is no guaranteed time for them to fully erupt, this is why the pain can come and go. Whilst the tooth is pushing through it can be painful and as it stops the pain gradually eases. This will eventually stop all together when the tooth is fully erupted.

It is not only the pressure of the teeth coming through that can cause pain, when biting together the wisdom teeth can catch the gum or cheek. This can also occur when the tooth only partially erupts. When the tooth stops coming through, a layer of gum can form like a flap over the tooth and the same can happen when biting together. This can become quite painful and sore and the only way to really treat this is to try and avoid the area by biting more slowly which is often easier said than done. Our dentists encourage the use of certain numbing gels which can ease the pain until the area heals.

 Another problem caused by the gum overlapping the tooth is food trapping which can be difficult to remove with an ordinary tooth and so use of a single tufted brush is vital to clean underneath the gum. If it is impossible to keep the area clean and causes the patient significant problems then having the tooth cleaned regularly in surgery is a good option however if this is not visible then extracted is another option to be considered.

The only other major concern regarding wisdom teeth which could lead to extraction is if they are impacted. This basically means that the tooth has failed to erupt through the gum line. There are several reasons why the wisdom teeth do not erupt and an xray would be required to check the reason why this has not occurred. Sometimes this can be due to the tooth never forming and this is why it will not appear. Other reasons can include the tooth growing at an angle towards the next tooth making it impossible to come through. This tooth would almost certainly need to be taken out to avoid discomfort in the future.

If you are suffering from any wisdom teeth pain and would like to be seen by your dentist or would like any advice then please feel free to contact us on 01332 700244.

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