What are wisdom teeth and why wisdom teeth pain and other complications can make you feel dispirited when they erupt?
Wisdom teeth are the last four to erupt from the set of permanent teeth. Dentists call them “third molars” but since they rarely appear before the late teen age or early twenties, people nicknamed them “wisdom teeth”.
Wisdom Teeth Pain Caused by Wisdom Teeth Eruption
The general rule is that adult individuals have 32 teeth, but it is a fact that nowadays, people have smaller jaws, and the space is enough for 28 teeth only. So, in some persons wisdom teeth never grow, others have less than four, and very few are reported to have more than four. If your jaws are large enough, and there is enough space for some new molars, your wisdom teeth may erupt without causing you serious troubles.
You may feel a slight discomfort or dull pain, but all these problems are of temporary nature and will disappear as soon as the new teeth grow in full. Otherwise, you may face some serious troubles accompanied with jaw stiffness, swelling and, of course, wisdom teeth pain.
Wisdom Teeth-Related Problems
When there isn’t enough room for the proper development of wisdom teeth, they erupt at an angle. The third molars may be angled toward or away from the second molars, or toward the tongue or cheeks. These cases of poor alignment of wisdom teeth often result in painful tongue, cheek or jawbone damages, nerve injury or adjacent teeth damage.
If the wisdom teeth get stuck in the gum or the jawbone and their eruption is thus prevented, you have “impacted teeth”. Another complication occurs when the wisdom teeth erupt partially. This problem usually results in a bacterial infection, tooth decay, gum disease or the formation of a cyst.
How to Relieve Pain in Wisdom Teeth
If you feel pain, you should consult your dentist. In case you are unable to see him/ her immediately, you may take some of the following steps to ease wisdom teeth pain:
- An antibacterial mouthwash or a cup of warm water with a teaspoon of salt (or mouthwash containing chlorhexidine) will reduce the inflammation and gum soreness. Swish the water around the wisdom teeth or wisdom tooth at least 4-5 times a day.
- Painkillers such as paracetamol, ibuprofen, aspirin, etc. will also help in the short term. Your dentist will prescribe some medication depending on the severity of pain.
When Painkillers Cannot Kill the Pain
Before your dentist decides whether to prescribe an antibiotic or recommend wisdom teeth extraction, he/ she will probably take x-rays and think of the most appropriate treatment strategy. If the teeth/ tooth is to be removed, the dentist will inform you how complicated the surgery will be (for instance, the upper wisdom teeth are easier to remove; and the procedure is easier if the patient is younger).
He or she will explain what anaesthetic is best for you, how much the procedure will cost you, as well as other details on the post-removal treatment and how to relieve wisdom teeth pain.