Tag - impacted wisdom teeth

Impacted Wisdom Teeth and Forms of Impaction

Impacted Wisdom Teeth

The term impacted wisdom teeth refers to the 3rd molars that erupt at the back of the mouth cavity. They are called impacted because there is not enough room for them to grow normally or even emerge.

In general, impacted wisdom teeth can cause dental problems, damage to adjacent teeth, and pain. These teeth may be vulnerable to disease even if they do not cause immediate or apparent problems. Teeth that cause dental complications or pain are typically removed. Some oral surgeons and dentists advise that such teeth are removed as to prevent problems even if they do not cause pain or discomfort at the moment.

Wisdom teeth do not grow normally in many people and either break through the gum partially or remain stuck under it. They are called impacted, and there are two reasons why they cannot grow properly – either the jaw is too small and there isn’t enough room or the wisdom tooth erupts at the wrong angle.

It should be noted that impacted teeth are not uncommon when we speak of wisdom teeth. As said, they often cause problems, and the soft tissue around them can trap plaque, food particles, and other debris. This may result in bad breath, cavities, gum tenderness, swelling, and other problems. In addition, these teeth can cause infection and may damage the surrounding teeth.

Teeth that fail to erupt fall into different categories, including horizontal impaction, distoangular impaction, vertical impaction, and mesioangular impaction. Vertical impaction is one type that occurs when the wisdom tooth cannot fully erupt once it is formed. Horizontal impaction, which is relatively rare, occurs when the tooth grows into the second molar’s roots because it is angled sideways at 90 degrees.

Distoangular impaction is also a rare form whereby the wisdom tooth is angled toward the rear of the mouth cavity or backwards. Finally, the most common form of impaction is mesioangular impaction, with the tooth being angled toward the front.

In the majority of cases, mesioangular impactions are easiest to extract in the lower jaw or mandible and more difficult to extract in the upper jaw or maxilla. On the other hand, distoangular impactions are more difficult to extract in the lower jaw and easier to extract in the upper jaw. In should be noted that when impacted wisdom teeth have fully erupted, they may require bone removal in case they do not yield to elevators or forceps.

Photo Credit: By Coronation Dental Specialty Group (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Does Everyone Have Wisdom Teeth?

Does Everyone Have Wisdom Teeth

Does everyone have wisdom teeth, and is it possible that wisdom teeth never grow?

The majority of adults have 4 wisdom teeth, but some people have more, which are referred to as supernumerary teeth, and other people have fewer, a condition known as oligodontia.

Supernumerary teeth or hyperdontia is a dental condition whereby teeth grow in addition to the four wisdom teeth and the usual number of teeth. There are different types of supernumerary teeth, which are classified by position and by shape.

How do you know if you have wisdom teeth

They include complex odontome(1), compound odontome, conical, tuberculate, and supplemental.

Conical teeth are also known as peg shaped while tuberculate teeth are referred to as barred shaped. Complex odontome represent a mass of tissue, which is disorganized, and compound odontome are multiple, small-size, teeth-like forms.

Classified by position, these teeth are also referred to as distomolar, paramolar, and mesiodens.

Oligodontia or hypodontia is another dental condition whereby patients have missing or fewer teeth because these fail to develop. Hypodontia(2) occurs when patients have up to six teeth missing, and this excludes the third molars. Oligodontia is when a person has more than six teeth missing.

Oligodontia or hypodontia

Back to the question – does everyone have wisdom teeth?

Between 9 and 30 percent of adult population do not have third molars.

Those who are in their 20s, however, should know that their wisdom teeth might not have presently assumed their final position. With this in mind, one or more wisdom teeth may erupt later on.

One possibility is that wisdom teeth do not erupt at all and another is that they fail to grow properly. In this case, they are called impacted wisdom teeth and if complications occur, wisdom teeth extraction may be required, especially if it is accompanied by severe wisdom teeth pain and other complications.

Does everyone have wisdom teeth is not the only interesting question to explore. Why did they develop to begin with?

According to anthropologists, the 3rd set of molars developed because of our ancestors’ diet, which included rough food, including meats, nuts, roots, and leaves. These needed more chewing power, resulting in excessive teeth wear.


The modern diet includes a variety of soft foods, and along with marvels of modern technology, including knives, spoons, and forks, it has made wisdom teeth redundant. Thus, evolutionary biologists call these teeth parts of the body that are now functionless, referred to as vestigial organs. This is largely due to evolution.


Wisdom Teeth Headache and When to See the Dentist

Wisdom Teeth Headache

Wisdom teeth headache may be due to pos-extraction infections and problems with the jaw and the teeth. In some cases, the pulp, which is the interior of a tooth, becomes infected. If the tooth, which is infected, is found in the upper jaw, pain and aching of the head and face may occur. This pain may be intense. In addition, impacted wisdom teeth and gum infections may also cause headache and pain, requiring prompt treatment.

Post-extraction infections are associated with removal of the tooth from its socket. The bone tissue is thus exposed to infections, and dental problems of this kind usually occur within 2 to 10 days after wisdom teeth removal. Pain is normally localized to the extraction site, but in some cases, it radiates to the neck, temples, and face, thus being known as wisdom teeth headache. It is important to have a follow-up consultation with an oral surgeon or a dentist because if the socket is left untreated, the pain worsens.

Another reason why pain occurs is associated with temporo-mandibular joint dysfunction. Among the symptoms of this condition are pain in the head and neck, and the jaw may lock in more severe cases. Certain factors can contribute to temporo-mandibular joint dysfunction, including diseases, bad habits, muscle tension, misalignment of the teeth, improper joint structure, and others.

Generally, it is important to see the doctor if you feel pain and stiffness in your jaw, numbness in the lower lip, pain when chewing or biting, and if you have damaged or loosened teeth.

If you have wisdom teeth headache, you might need to have an X-ray done in some cases. If you have difficulty speaking, your mouth doesn’t close properly, your jaw extends further forward, or you feel pain in the area of your ears, you may need to have it done. In addition, you may want to see the dentist if you have painful or swollen gums, difficulty opening your mouth, or if the lymph nodes on your neck appear swollen.

There are other symptoms to pay attention to, which may require a consultation with your dentist. These include chills and fever, loss of the sense of smell, sore throat and cough, pain behind the eyes, as well as throbbing headache which gets worse when bending. These symptoms may show that you have an impacted wisdom tooth or a late-developing wisdom tooth erupting.

Wisdom Teeth Decay, Symptoms, and Prevention

Wisdom Teeth Decay

Wisdom Teeth DecayWisdom teeth decay occurs in impacted wisdom teeth which have not been kept clean. This leads to cavities and decay. If a wisdom tooth leans toward adjacent teeth (the second molars), it makes them more vulnerable to decay because it entraps debris and plague.

Gum disease and wisdom teeth decay also occur in partially erupted teeth because their positioning and hard-to-reach location make daily flossing and brushing more difficult. Partially erupted teeth allow for various bacteria to enter the area around the teeth, which leads to infection accompanied by general illness, jaw stiffness, swelling, and wisdom teeth pain.

What are the symptoms of Wisdom Teeth Decay, what should you watch for?

It should be noted that decay is not accompanied by any symptoms until it reaches an advanced stage. In the early stages, it is easier to treat it successfully. Among the symptoms of tooth decay are discolored spots – black, brown, and gray – appearing on the teeth, an unpleasant taste in the mouth, bad breath, as well as toothache.

Another symptom of decay is tooth sensitivity, with patients feeling pain or tenderness when drinking or eating something sweet, cold, or hot. Toothache is a warning sign that there is a problem which, if ignored, may get worse, with the patient risking losing a tooth. In fact, it is recommended that adults under 18 years of age should have a checkup at least once a year and those over 18 should have it at least once every 2 years.

How to prevent wisdom teeth decay and decay in general?

Prevention includes oral hygiene and dietary modification. The amount of sugar consumed, for example, is less important than the frequency of sugar intake. In the presence of carbohydrates and sugar, bacteria in the oral cavity produce acids that act to demineralize cementum, dentin, and enamel. In addition, sticky and chewy foods, like candies and dried fruit, adhere to the tooth surface and stay longer.

So, they should be consumed as part of a meal. It is recommended to brush the teeth after every meal. Some kinds of cheese, for example, Cheddar, and milk help prevent tooth decay when consumed after having foods that are harmful to teeth. Finally, calcium, which is found in green vegetables, milk, and other foods, is also recommended to protect the teeth against tooth decay.

How to Tell if you Need your Wisdom Teeth Removed?

Wisdom Teeth Removed

Abscessed ToothIn this article we discuss how to tell if you need your wisdom teeth removed, we then go on to explain the different types of extraction. Wisdom teeth removal is a surgical procedure also called wisdom teeth operation. Dental extraction is required for a variety of reasons, including problematic or impacted wisdom teeth and tooth decay that has rendered the tooth non-restorable. Tooth extraction is necessary in case of infection or severe tooth decay.

Common Reasons for Wisdom Teeth Removal

Dental carries is one of the most common reasons for wisdom teeth removal. Another reason is the presence of extra teeth that block other teeth from erupting. Severe gum disease, accompanied by wisdom teeth pain, is yet another reason, especially when it affects the supporting bone structures and tissues of wisdom teeth.

Teeth that cannot be restored and teeth in the fracture line are also removed. Supplementary, supernumerary, fractured, and malformed teeth are also removed. Teeth that are detrimental to the appearance or fit of dentures are removed as well.

Wisdom teeth operation is also necessary when there is an insufficient space in the oral cavity. Finally, teeth that are unsuitable for restoration and are of poor appearance are also removed.

There are two types of extraction – simple extraction and surgical extraction.

The first type is carried out under local anesthetic while the second one often requires an incision. This is because the tooth has not fully erupted or is broken under the gum line. Regarding complications, they are said to occur in one in ten patients.

Persons who seek to minimize the risks are advised to discuss their medical history and conditions with their surgeon, dentist, or physician. Patients who have severe upper respiratory problems (for example, cold or cough) may want to postpone any scheduled extractions. The patient’s dentist may also recommend 3-D cone imaging.

Among the common complications after wisdom teeth operation are discomfort, bruising, malaise, swelling, pain, and discoloration. Another side effect is reaction to medications. Anesthetics and other medications given before or during the procedure can have side effects. Some patients experience nausea, drowsiness, and vomiting due to the medications and anesthetic provided. In some cases, they can cause hives, rashes, and itching.

Some persons experience allergic reactions due to some chemical or the anesthetic given. This may result in sudden fall in blood pressure because of widening of the blood vessels. Heart problems and breathing problems may occur as a result of this.

Wisdom Teeth Bad Breath, Occurrence, and Prevention

Wisdom Teeth Bad Breath

Can removing wisdom teeth cause bad breath.  Without daunt wisdom teeth bad breath may be the result of an abscesses tooth, partially erupted tooth, and an active infection in the oral cavity, in general. A wisdom tooth that has caries or extensive decay may trap bacteria and debris. Thus, it can become a source of bad odor. Other complications include trouble opening the mouth, swelling, and wisdom teeth pain.

The infection may cause headache, spreading to the neck and cheek. After the initial episode, attacks become more severe and more frequent. Eventually, the wisdom tooth becomes loose and wisdom teeth extraction may be required.

Bad Breath After Wisdom Teeth Extraction

Speaking of wisdom teeth bad breath may be a source of concern post extraction. It takes some time for the extraction site to heal, and you can experience occasional bleeding within the first weeks. This can lead to a larger number of bacteria in the mouth, and it is important to maintain good oral hygiene.

It should be noted that the extraction site is vulnerable to infections, and this may increase mouth odor, resulting in bad breath. To prevent infections from occurring, you should do your best to keep the site free of debris and food particles.

Apart from the post-extraction period, bad breath may occur in persons with pericoronitis. Among its symptoms are: bad taste and smell in the mouth, swollen and painful gum tissue, and discharge of pus near the affected wisdom tooth. Pericoronitis is common in persons with impacted wisdom teeth, i.e. those with partial tooth impactions.

This condition occurs when wisdom teeth start erupting, and the tissue around them becomes inflamed due to bacteria invading it. If the tooth is only partially erupted, it may be impossible to prevent pericoronitis from occurring.

The reason is that it is difficult to brush the tooth effectively. With wisdom teeth bad breath is only one symptom of pericoronitis. Moreover, there are complications, especially if it becomes chronic pericoronitis, including inflammatory odentogenic cyst and paradental cyst.

In general, there are three sources of bad breath – oral bacteria; diseases and conditions that facilitate the proliferation of such bacteria, and not being able to or not cleaning areas in the mouth in which bacteria reside. Finally, persistent bad taste in the mouth or bad breath may be the result of gum disease. These condition develops when plague builds up on the teeth.

Wisdom Teeth Pain Relief Help

Wisdom Teeth Pain Relief Help

Experts and medical professionals would certainly recommend more than one wisdom teeth pain relief help remedy. One way to relieve pain is to try chewing gum, chewing on the side where you experience pain. This will offer temporary relief by massaging the painful area. Another solution is to opt for a topical numbing medication. Numbing agents are offered in supermarkets, discount department stores, and most pharmacies. A small amount is to be applied to the affected area.

This will ease pain for up to half an hour.

Wisdom Tooth Pain Remedies

Another wisdom teeth pain remedy is clove oil, which is a type of essential oil native to Indonesia and India. Some studies suggest that it has antibacterial and analgesic properties, and it can be beneficial if toothache is caused by bacteria. It should be noted that clove oil is not recommended to everyone. First, some find it unpleasant and strong to taste. Second, if accidentally ingested in large quantities, it may have side effects, including respiratory problems and liver problems.

Before the advent of anesthetics, clove oil was used by dental professionals. Studies show that clove oil is effective due to its active ingredient, eugenol. If you choose to use clove oil, take a piece of tissue or a cotton swab and apply a small amount on it.

How to Deal with Wisdom Tooth Pain

Then gently apply to the painful area. You may want to elevate your head while sleeping as to reduce swelling and inflammation. Sleeping semi-upright on a couch or chair or propping yourself on pillows may help reduce swelling. Another way to relieve aching and reduce swelling is to use cold and warm compresses, especially if this is caused by impacted wisdom teeth.

You may wrap an ice in a piece of cloth or a thin towel and place it against your jaw for around twenty minutes. Do this a couple of times a day. Using a heating pad on a low setting may be of help as well.

While there is more than one wisdom teeth pain remedy, these are not the best solution in each case. Your dentist may recommend antibiotics to treat inflammation and swelling if this is the cause for toothache to occur.