As one gets older, the body experiences changes, which include changes in dental formation. Your baby teeth begin to fall, and are replaced with permanent teeth. Wisdom teeth, also known as third molars, are normally the last teeth to erupt. The question “can wisdom teeth cause bad breath?” is therefore very common among young adults as they begin experiencing halitosis later on in life. While most people don’t experience any problem when the wisdom teeth grow, there is a good percentage that do. The majority who experience problems are those who have the teeth growing halfway through the gum or not appearing on the gum at all. These wisdom teeth that do not fully erupt are known as impacted wisdom teeth, and they can be a major source of bad breath for many people.
Causes of impacted teeth
Impacted wisdom teeth are essentially third molars that do not fully grow in. This results in overgrowth of bacteria in those areas, which then becomes a source for bad breath. There are several reasons why this may happen, but one of the common reasons is that the jaw doesn’t have enough room to accommodate the teeth. Another common reason is that the tooth isn’t growing in an upright manner and is, therefore, reaching the other teeth, which then hinders its proper growth. It could also grow towards the back of the mouth or at a right angle instead of upwards.
Regardless of the cause, finding a remedy for an impacted tooth is essential in eliminating bad breath and other problems that may arise later. If the tooth grows halfway or becomes crooked, it can trap food and enhance bacteria growth. This doesn’t just result in a bad breath but also other complications such as swollen gums, cavities, and tenderness around the gums. All these can cause extreme discomfort, which is why they should be sorted as soon as quickly as possible.
Symptoms of impacted teeth
Since it is common for wisdom teeth to grow on their own without any problems, the onset of a tooth growing doesn’t usually indicate a problem. The first signs of trouble may appear when you start experiencing pain or discomfort on and around the tooth. One of the common signs most people experience is pain at the back of the gums. This may be persistent or recurring pain, but it can also increase gradually.
Another common symptom is tenderness and swelling in the tooth area. If you notice that your gums are suddenly red or inflamed, then you should seek immediate medical assistance as it shows that the tooth area has been infected. The swelling may not be on the neighboring gum areas and not directly on the where the wisdom tooth is growing.
Bad breath is another indication that your wisdom teeth are trapped and will possibly remain impacted. Most people tend to ignore this and associate it with insufficient dental hygiene, but it’s often the result of impacted wisdom teeth. If you begin to notice that you had bad breath has started when your wisdom teeth were just starting to grow in, then you may conclude that these teeth are the source of the halitosis that you are experiencing.
Although it is not so common, another sign of an impacted tooth is the inability to open the mouth. Given the wisdom teeth location, they may make it harder for you to open your mouth to talk or eat. The medical term for this is trismus, and it could be the start of something more serious (such as a dental infection). There are other issues associated with such symptoms, which is why you should seek a professional dentist’s services to determine whether an impacted wisdom tooth is causing it.
Other than discomfort and pain and impacted tooth that is left unattended can lead to other significant problems. It’s therefore advisable that you never ignore the above symptoms.
Wisdom teeth and bad breath
The connection between impacted wisdom teeth and bad breath is primarily caused by bacterial growth. The misalignment of the teeth makes them harder to clean, leading to the accumulation of plaque. This, in turn, provides a thriving nest for bacteria to grow and multiply, causing a bad odor no matter how good your oral hygiene is. Over time, a condition called pericorontitis may come about, which is a stage of gum inflammation prior to an infection arising. The delicate nature of those gums leaves them susceptible to infections, especially by wound-infecting bacteria that release sulfur compounds around the soft tissue.
For wisdom teeth remedies, your dentist will assess your situation and recommend treatment options perfect for your individual needs. If the tooth still has a chance of growing properly, your dentist may give you antibiotics to clear off infections. Another remedy preferred by most dentists is dental procedures to repair the impacted tooth. This may go hand in hand with the anti-bacterial treatments for maximum results. If the situation worsens, you may have to undergo dental surgery procedures to remove the teeth. This is normally the last ailment to cure bad breath caused by wisdom teeth, and it may be your best possible option.
Remedies if your wisdom teeth are the source of your bad breath
If your wisdom teeth are the source of the halitosis inside of your mouth you have a few options:
- Extraction or removal of the wisdom teeth (this will eliminate the source of the foul odor)
- Salt water rinses can help eliminate some of the bacteria causing the bad breath
- Peridex mouth-rinse to help with the inflammation and elimination of bacteria
- Antibiotics may eliminate some of the bacteria contributing to the halitosis
Wisdom teeth and cysts
Other than connection to bad breath, impacted teeth are also associated with jaw cysts. These are sacs that grow in the jaws and are either filled with air or fluid. A common symptom associated with cysts is irritation in the jaw bone and sometimes pain. The sacs can only grow in the mouth’s soft tissues, which is why they sometimes grow and cause expansions in the jaws. Over time these cysts can form into tumors, which ultimately will require invasive jaw surgery. There are a number of different forms of these tumors that develop in the jaw, and each can cause a myriad of oral health problems that need to be addressed immediately.
Wisdom teeth have long been known to be a source of bad breath. As previously mentioned, their extraction should be on your priority list will all the problems and symptoms they can cause inside of your mouth. Come see our oral surgery team today for a free wisdom tooth evaluation.
Other Frequently Asked Questions
Will removing my wisdom teeth eliminate my bad breath?
This will depend on if the source of your bad breath is coming from your wisdom teeth. Plaque, tartar, and odors from your GI tract can all be sources of Halitosis. We will always recommend that most individuals remove their wisdom teeth for health purposes, but whether extracting them will remove the foul odor from your mouth is unpredictable.
Can bad breath come from the stomach?
Yes it can, and it is one of the prevalent factors for those suffering from bad breath. Wisdom teeth and other oral factors can normally contribute to halitosis, especially if there is an infection. However, some of the odor may be originating from the GI tract. If this is the case, then a physician should be involved in any diagnosis that he or she finds.
Does salt water cure Pericoronitis?
As mentioned earlier, pericoronitis involves the inflammation of the gum tissue surrounding the wisdom tooth. This can be a source of bad breath, especially if the tissue becomes infected. The only way to eliminate pericoronitis in its entirety is the removal of the third molar itself. Salt water and antibiotics can calm the inflammation temporarily, but cannot cure the issue at hand.