Are you suffering from unbearable wisdom tooth pain? Unfortunately, there are many causes of wisdom tooth discomfort, and in this article we will go over them, along with some remedies that might help you along the way. We will also be addressing some commonly asked questions about wisdom teeth. If your wisdom teeth are hurting, most dentists and oral surgeons will recommend that you get your wisdom teeth removed.
What Are Wisdom Teeth?
Wisdom teeth, also known as third molars, are the last teeth to normally erupt in the mouth. These teeth usually finish developing in our early adult years, and some begin to erupt in our mouth when we reach adolescence. It is normally recommended that these teeth be removed during our early teenage years as they can cause a myriad of oral health problems as we get older. Wisdom teeth are normally classified by the direction in which they are erupting, and their different levels of impaction (how deep into the jawbone they are). The latter shows that not all wisdom teeth actually erupt in our mouth. If our jawbones are too small to accommodate for these teeth, they can remain trapped within our jaws indefinitely.
Wisdom Teeth Classification Based On Direction:
- Vertical wisdom tooth: These wisdom teeth erupt vertically parallel to your adjacent teeth. Many symptoms related with pericoronitis (gum swelling) are often associated with these types of wisdom teeth.
- Horizontal wisdom tooth: These wisdom teeth erupt sideways pushing into the adjacent second molars. They can cause cavities on these adjacent teeth leading to breakdown and potential tooth loss in the area. Cavities are commonly seen on the backside of these molars. As these cavities continue to grow larger they can penetrate into the nerve tissue causing severe pain and discomfort.
- Angular wisdom tooth: These wisdom teeth are normally erupting in a diagonal direction. They are just as common as the previously mentioned eruption patterns, and they too can cause caries formation and gum swelling in the area.
Wisdom Teeth Classification Based On Level Of Impaction:
As we mentioned earlier, wisdom teeth do not always erupt. Dentists and clinicians also classify wisdom teeth by how deeply they are embedded into your jawbone.
- Full Bony Wisdom Tooth: These teeth are completely encased in your jawbone, and are often the most difficult to remove. They are also the teeth mostly involved with jaw cyst formation.
- Partial Bony Wisdom Tooth: As the name implies, these wisdom teeth are partially erupted. Some of the tooth structure is still embedded in your jawbone, and a part of the tooth is covered by your gum tissue. These wisdom teeth are often the #1 cause of wisdom tooth pain inside the oral cavity.
- Erupted Wisdom Tooth: These wisdom teeth are fully erupted in the mouth. These patients have jawbones that have enough space for the complete eruption of these third molars. Many times, however, these teeth also need to be removed because the back part of the mouth is so difficult to keep clean.
What Causes Wisdom Tooth Pain?
Here are some main causes of wisdom tooth pain.
- Wisdom Teeth Growing In: As you reach your teenage years, you may notice your wisdom teeth growing in. As these teeth break through the gum tissue, the area may start getting inflamed and irritated. Sometimes, slight swelling in the area may also occur.
- Caries: A cavity forming on your wisdom tooth can be quite common as it is very hard to keep wisdom teeth clean. Some of these cavities can get quite large, even penetrating into the nerve tissue of the tooth. Cavities are usually a major cause of wisdom teeth discomfort.
- Impacted Wisdom Tooth: An impacted wisdom tooth can cause an infection inside the jawbone that can sometimes become a dental emergency. It may end up causing irritation, swelling, and a condition called trismus (difficulty opening your mouth).
- Gum Disease: Wisdom teeth that are partially erupted can end up causing a condition called pericoronitis. Although, not an infection, it leads to severe swelling and inflammation of the surrounding gum tissue overlying the wisdom tooth, and can be the cause of severe pain.
- Wisdom Tooth Cyst: Sometimes, a large cyst can form around an impacted wisdom tooth causing severe jaw pain in the area. If this happens to be the case, removal of the wisdom tooth may need to be immediate.
What Are Some Remedies For Wisdom Tooth Pain?
Here are some home remedies to help alleviate wisdom tooth pain:
- Ice Pack: Cold compresses normally help alleviate some of the pain and swelling in the area. Although it will not eliminate the pain completely, it will help control your pain until your wisdom tooth is removed.
- Medications: Aleve, Ibuprofen, and Tylenol are all over-the-counter medications that can help with your wisdom tooth pain until your can see your doctor.
- Benzocaine: Sold as an over-the-counter gel, this topical anesthetic allows for temporary relief of wisdom tooth pain. Of course, only wisdom tooth removal can cure your ailment, but this magical gel can help soothe the area until you can see your clinician.
Ultimately, if a wisdom tooth is causing you severe discomfort, an oral surgeon or a highly trained dentist will more than likely need to remove the tooth. You can only band-aid the problem so long with these home remedies, and after a while, the cure to the problem is to have that tooth extracted.
Can a Wisdom Tooth Cause An Earache?
If you are suffering from an earache, it is always prudent to seek the help of an ENT (ear, nose, and throat physician). However, there are cases where an infected wisdom tooth can lead to earaches, and cause pain to radiate to that area. Earaches associated with wisdom teeth are normally associated with lower wisdom tooth infections.
Can Wisdom Tooth Pain Go Away On Its Own?
Sometimes, wisdom tooth pain is off and on. But that does not necessarily mean that it is not causing an infection. Having pain in an area means that there is something wrong there, so at Best Dental we recommend removing your wisdom tooth at the first sign of pain symptoms.
Can Wisdom Teeth Cause Throat Pain?
They certainly can, especially if they are getting infected. Throat pain associated with wisdom teeth is usually caused by your lower wisdom teeth, and can cause a myriad of systemic issues. In extreme cases, they can lead to a condition called Ludwig’s Angina.
What Are Some Common Symptoms of Wisdom Teeth Pain?
These are some common symptoms that patients note when they are having wisdom teeth pain:
- Jaw pain that can some times radiate to the ears
- Teeth pain that transfers across the entire mouth
- The feeling of tissue swelling around the wisdom tooth
- Sore throat
- Enlarged tonsils (this is normally associated with lower wisdom teeth infections)
- Numbness of your teeth, lips, and jaws if there is an infection that is compressing nerves within your jawbone.
If You Are Having Wisdom Teeth Pain During the Night
A lot of times, our wisdom teeth begin to cause pain during the night hours when we can’t see our dentist. Sometimes, the pain can be unbearable. Here are a few tips you can take to minimize the pain until you can see your dentist or oral surgeon:
- Ice Packs: Placing a cold compress on that affected area can help minimize some of your discomfort for the first 24 hours.
- Salt Water Rinses: Sometimes, the soft tissue around the wisdom tooth can become inflamed. Salt water rinses can help minimize the swelling and pain that your feeling until you can see your dentist.
- Ibuprofen 600mg: Taking 600mg of Ibuprofen can remedy some of the discomfort until your can see your clinician to see why your wisdom teeth are bothering you.
- A trip to your Local emergency room that have trained oral surgeons on staff can help if you are infected from your wisdom teeth.
Wisdom tooth pain is a symptom that is telling your body that there is something wrong. Removal of your wisdom teeth at an early age is normally recommended due to the various problems that can arise from wisdom teeth. Schedule a consultation with our surgery experts at Best Dental today to have to prevent and cure any health problems that wisdom teeth can cause.