The agony of wisdom tooth

Toothache Pain in tooth

Wisdom tooth, also known as third and last molar which erupts between the ages of 18 to 25. Wisdom tooth is more like vestigial organ, not being used for chewing or have any vital oral function. It is recognised mostly by the throbbing pain it causes during the eruption. Since other molars take their places in a jaw, thus leaving no or minimum room for wisdom tooth to erupt correctly because of which they slant and angle in a different direction. Mostly, they lean toward the roots of second molar, pushing its roots as well which doubles the pain and create an opportunity for cavity to form. It can destroy the roots, and push the sensory nerves. Furthermore, it also weaken the roots, and invite swelling and inflammation of gums followed by severe pain. Inflammation can also result into empty pockets, which is a perfect home for bacteria to grow and thrive.

What should you do to make the pain go away?

Some home based remedies can help you over night, but none of these are the permanent solution. These remedies may give you a temporary or partial relief from pain or reduce the pain’s intensity.

  • Warm salt water rinse
  • Apply Ice on the effected side
  • Chew clove
  • Chew a raw onion
  • Place frozen cucumber slice
  • Place Tea bags
  • Baking soda and tooth paste

What next should I do to permanently fix it?

Find a local dentist as soon as possible. Most of the dentist offer emergency treatments, call and setup your appointment. You need to ensure you fully describe your condition correctly. It helps dental clinics prepare accordingly. Generally, member of the dental team asks certain set of questions to fully illustrate your condition, and take notes for the dentist so that he also entirely comprehend the case scenario.

Wisdom tooth types

Wisdom tooth check-up process

After thorough examination, first and the most important thing is the X-ray. This help dentist recognise the exact position of the wisdom tooth under the tissues and determines whether there is enough space for eruption. At this point, dentist pronounce the viable treatment type. There are usually four case scenarios based on X-rays and examination:

  • Case 1: If you’re lucky enough, your wisdom tooth will erupt without any hassle because it is not angled or slanted, and have enough room for eruption.
  • Case 2: Wisdom tooth is not angled or slanted, it is pretty much straight but a part of tissue is an obstacle and causing swelling and inflammation. In this case, dentist will partially remove the tissue, or initiate a small incision so that tooth can easily erupt, and sit on its place in jaw easily.
  • Case 3: Wisdom tooth is not positioned correctly, and is angled towards second molar, or other way around. In such case, the only option is the extraction. Extraction can be supervised under the local anaesthesia or conscious sedation. Recommendation of the dentist varies based on each cases or your choice.
  • Case 4: Wisdom tooth is fully impact within the bone. Dentist will need to cut through your bone for extraction. Most critical, and requires an intensive surgical procedure for extraction.

What type of extraction should you expect?

Generally wisdom tooth extraction is considered very painful, and most of the patients fear it. However, not every case is complicated, and requires an intensive surgery. In fact, they surgery process is usually comfortable due to the sedation option. You will not even have a hint of extraction afterwards.

  • Simple extraction:

Wisdom tooth is visible, and does not require surgical procedure or incision.

  • Surgical extraction:

Wisdom tooth is not visible, and requires surgical procedure for extraction. In some of the extreme cases bone also needs to be cut through.

Complexities of wisdom tooth extraction

Wisdom teeth are connected to inferior Alveolar nerve (supply sensation to the lower teeth) located in mandible in an area called mandibular canal. Your dentist knows this, and he will be very careful while extracting. Nerve damage can result in chewing and speech difficulty.

Post extraction care you should know

  • Genteelly hold ice pack to your cheek to reduce swelling
  • Exercise jaw by opening and closing your mouth
  • Eat soft food
  • Drink lots of liquid
  • Brush next day softly and genteelly
  • Use anti-inflammatory and pain killers as prescribed by a dentist
  • Call your dentist if swelling or inflammation does not go away within couple of days after surgery
  • Do not smoke, it slows down the healing process
  • Use salt water to rinse effected area carefully at least twice a day
  • Avoid drinking through straw
  • Eat ice-cream, it helps reduce swelling

Some interesting facts:

  • Lucky 35% of the people are born without wisdom teeth
  • Wisdom teeth are not formed in the womb
  • Wisdom teeth can be a source of stem cells

Dr. Shenas has performed numerous complex wisdom tooth extraction. Feel free to contact him for the best treatment.