Wisdom teeth are known as third molars and are often the cause of great angst for some. The problem is that often people experience serious issues when it comes time for wisdom teeth to erupt. The issues are due mostly in part to the changes in our bodies brought about by the evolutionary process.
As we have progressed as humans, so has our diet. This has led to less and less need for our third molars. Our jaws have changed, becoming smaller, and thereby do not leave enough room for the wisdom teeth to emerge, usually when we reach the age of 17-24.
How Do I Know it’s My Wisdom Teeth?
Pain from wisdom teeth problems is typically felt in the back of the mouth behind your molars. If you look in a mirror you may even see the teeth starting to poke through your gums. The pain may be constant or come and go. It can be exacerbated with chewing.
Some people experience a stiff or painful jaw in the area of an impacted tooth. An impacted tooth is one that does not have enough room to erupt and becomes painful and sometimes infected.
If the tooth is partially erupted and coming in at an awkward angle, it can rub against the cheek, tongue and gums and cause irritation. Gum disease is a concern as the lack of proper eruption can make it difficult to properly clean the teeth and gums.
Overall mouth pain would be a sign that the other teeth in the mouth are overcrowded due to a lack of sufficient room for the wisdom teeth.
Causes of Wisdom Teeth Pain
The pain from wisdom teeth is usually due to an impaction as previously mentioned. Signs of an impaction can be similar to those listed above and may include red and swollen gums, bleeding, a swollen jaw and bad breath. Others may find they have difficulty opening their mouths.
The tooth can grow at odd angles, even growing at a right angle to other teeth, essentially growing horizontally. They can still become impacted even if they grow in the correct position but are unable to break through the surface of the gums.
Though, experts are unsure why, some people can have impacted wisdom teeth, but they never experience any pain or symptoms as a result.
Unfortunately, there are no preventative measures to take to avoid impaction. You are either going to have an issue or not, there is no control over the situation.
If wisdom teeth are not causing any pain or other issues in the mouth, your dentist may suggest leaving them be and just monitor them at your regular dental check-ups. Some dentists suggest removing them via surgery regardless. The choice is ultimately up to you.
There is no other treatment for painful impacted wisdom teeth except removal through oral surgery. If you have impacted wisdom teeth, then you will need to consult with your dentist about preparing for oral surgery for the removal of the impacted teeth. It is a relatively simple procedure with little history of complications.
Suggested reading – http://wisdomtoothpain.org