Are you experiencing pressure in the back of your mouth near your jaw joint? Are you between 13 and 21 years old? If you feel discomfort in the back of your mouth and are within the age range for wisdom teeth to erupt, they are more than likely the culprit. So, how should you proceed when you feel this discomfort and why? We’re here to answer all your wisdom teeth questions.
There is nothing wrong with wisdom teeth, but most modern mouths can’t accommodate them safely. Earlier in our evolution, these teeth were critical for gnashing plant matter for sustenance, but in our modern world they often present more problems than they do good for the patient.
Wisdom teeth are set as far back as possible in each quadrant of the mouth and can push on other teeth or root structures as they try to make a place for themselves. Since they are so recessed in the mouth, it is quite difficult to clean these teeth effectively and to keep food debris from building up around them. They often have deep grooves for debris to pack into, leaving wisdom tooth a candidate for decay and infection
Infection in wisdom teeth are no joke, since infections can spread deep into the body and even into the blood. If you think you have a wisdom tooth infection, seek the advice of your dentist without delay.
Your dentist and their dental team will prioritize your comfort by starting with an injection of local anesthetic. From there, your extraction will likely proceed in a similar fashion to a regular extraction, unless the tooth is impacted in the tissues in which case your dentist may need to cut into the gum tissue to free the tooth. If this is the case, your experience will not be any different, but your dentist will let you know if sutures have been placed to help the incision heal.
Your dentist will provide you with a full set of instructions about how to care for your wound following extraction. It is important to follow the directions provided by your dentist closely, including any pain management prescriptions that are offered to control post-extraction discomfort. You can expect to be able to return to a varied diet approximately a week or ten days later.
Yes, getting your wisdom teeth can be likened to a kind of teething that a young child would experience, but these teeth (and your mouth) are much larger and much more difficult to erupt due to their large cube-like presentation. Yes, often these teeth are as long as they are wide, and that’s just the exposed portion of the tooth. The roots of wisdom teeth tend to be substantial and deep, often nearing the sinuses along the upper arch and reaching down into the main nerve of the lower jaw.
Although wisdom teeth can be retained in some cases, the majority of wisdom teeth are removed before they can cause damage to other structures – which is a very real concern with these teeth.
If you have a tooth infection, the first indication will be pain at the site which is worse in the morning after not having moved the jaw though the night. A bitter taste that will not rinse away is another sign. Visually, the gums will be red and swollen and there may be a pocket or pimple developing on the gums. Your dentist will likely prescribe a round of antibiotics to clear up the infection in the tooth, with plans to remove the tooth once the infection has subsided.
When you are suffering with a toothache due to infection never use heat to treat. Warming the area worsens the inflammation and draws blood into the area increasing the pressure and discomfort. Instead, infections can be managed with frequent rinsing with cold water or by chewing/sucking on ice to keep the pain and inflammation in the area to a minimum.
Sometimes, a toothache can be severe in one moment and painless the next. Great for your comfort, but a possible indication of a dead tooth. When the infection in the tooth chamber becomes too severe, the nerve can die – effectively eliminating any pain signals from that tooth. Remember, however, that you’ve still got a tooth infection that must be seen by a dentist. Not prioritizing this infection could lead to more severe conditions such as sepsis. Let your dentist know if you are experiencing increased heart rate or fever as these could be indications of a worsening infection.
For questions about this or other services offered by our general dentist, contact our clinic today.