10 Signs You Need Emergency Wisdom Tooth Removal
Is a persistent toothache in the back of your mouth causing unbearable discomfort? Then home remedies and over-the-counter painkillers may not be able to provide adequate relief. It is crucial to seek immediate dental attention when experiencing a toothache, especially if it originates from the back molars. This type of pain could be due to an impacted wisdom tooth, which, if left untreated, can lead to complications and increased agony. In such cases, emergency wisdom tooth removal may be the recommended solution. Your dentist will evaluate your specific situation and provide appropriate treatment to alleviate wisdom tooth pain.
If you’re not sure what an impacted wisdom tooth is and why an emergency wisdom tooth removal may be necessary, give our blog a read. We’ll provide you with everything related to wisdom tooth removal, from recognising the signs to the importance of getting an extraction if needed.
What is an Impacted Wisdom Tooth?
Wisdom teeth are the last molars of your mouth and usually erupt in the late teens or early twenties. For some people, wisdom teeth may never erupt, while for others, they grow out without any problem. But when a wisdom tooth does not have enough space to grow, it can become stuck in the gum, leaving it partially exposed. It can also come out at the wrong angle or grow sideways. This is called an impacted wisdom tooth and generally has to be extracted to avoid future oral complications and pain.
Most emergency wisdom tooth removals are done because the impacted wisdom tooth is causing severe pain or has become infected. This may be because of the location, as the back of your mouth is not always easy to clean. Also, the partially exposed wisdom tooth stuck under the gum line makes it easy for the bacteria to penetrate the gums.
10 Signs You Need Emergency Wisdom Tooth Removal
An impacted wisdom tooth can make itself known by some of the following symptoms:
Pain and discomfort
Persistent and intense toothache or throbbing pain in the back of your mouth can be a sign of an impacted wisdom tooth. The pain may radiate to the surrounding areas and can cause considerable discomfort.
Swelling and inflammation
If you notice swelling in the gums around your wisdom tooth or experience facial swelling on the affected side, it could be a sign that an emergency extraction is necessary. Inflammation can also lead to redness and tenderness in the area.
Difficulty opening mouth, chewing & swallowing
An impacted wisdom tooth can limit the range of motion in your jaw, making it challenging to open your mouth fully. Chewing and swallowing may also become painful or difficult.
When you’ve trouble opening your mouth, chewing, or swallowing, it’s usually followed by breathing difficulties. This means the wisdom tooth infection may have already spread deeper into the jaw and should be checked by our dentists immediately.
Signs of infection
An infected wisdom tooth can present various symptoms, including severe pain, swelling, redness, breathing difficulties, and pus or a visible abscess around the affected area. In the past when modern medicine was not as readily available or invented, it was not uncommon for people to die because of an infection. This is called Ludwig’s angina and can be any type of tooth infection, including a wisdom tooth one. It is typically caused by a bacterial infection and can originate from an infected tooth or dental abscess. The infection spreads quickly and can lead to severe swelling and inflammation, which can obstruct the airway and interfere with breathing. If you observe these signs, it is important to address the infection promptly to avoid further complications.
Recurring headaches, particularly those localised in the temples or jaw area, can be linked to an impacted wisdom tooth. These headaches may be accompanied by facial pain and tenderness, and addressing the underlying cause through wisdom tooth removal can help alleviate the symptoms.
If you experience persistent jaw pain, especially near the wisdom tooth site, it could be a sign that the tooth is causing compression or inflammation of the surrounding tissues. Removing the impacted wisdom tooth can provide relief from jaw discomfort.
Bleeding or iron/metallic taste
Bleeding from the gums around the wisdom tooth or a persistent metallic taste in your mouth can indicate that your gums are inflamed or tender, and you may be at risk of developing an infection if ignored.
An impacted wisdom tooth can exert pressure on the adjacent teeth, causing them to shift or become misaligned. If you notice changes in the alignment of your teeth, it is important to consult with your dentist to determine if wisdom tooth removal is necessary.
A foul taste or odour in the mouth
An impacted or infected wisdom tooth can result in a foul taste in your mouth, often accompanied by bad breath. This unpleasant taste could be because of pus, tooth decay or gingivitis near the wisdom tooth site. A dentist will be able to help you identify the underlying cause and recommend the appropriate treatment.
Why is it important to get an emergency wisdom tooth extraction?
If you are experiencing any of the mentioned signs, it is essential to manage and treat them to prevent further complications. Often, an infection occurs due to excessive bacteria in the area. In such cases, a dental cleaning may be necessary to manage it before safely removing the tooth. Antibiotics may also be prescribed to help control the infection. After the initial assessment and x-rays to evaluate the tooth’s condition, location, and extent of the infection, your dentist can recommend the steps to control it before proceeding with an emergency wisdom tooth extraction. This ensures accurate treatment, helping address the pain and infection before the extraction.
Prevention of Future Emergencies
While there’s nothing you can do to stop your wisdom tooth from erupting, there are certain preventive measures you can take to make the transition easier. This will help you be prepared if your wisdom tooth is impacted and help reduce the risk of infection and manage the pain.
Some of the ways you can help prevent future wisdom tooth emergencies include:
Regular dental check-ups and cleanings
Routine dental checkups help identify oral problems early and enable your dentists to detect if your wisdom teeth are about to come out. This way you can reduce the risk of infection and plan for the eruption and the required treatment with your dentist. Regular dental cleaning will help keep the area clean and free from bacteria.
X-rays to monitor wisdom teeth growth
Teeth X-rays are instrumental in helping detect wisdom teeth or any other oral issues. So if you are experiencing discomfort and pain or feel something is not right in your mouth, don’t wait until it gets worse. An evaluation and x-ray at the dentist can help prevent the pain and complications with wisdom teeth issues that have progressed to an advanced stage.
Good oral hygiene practices
Daily brushing and flossing help protect you against most oral problems, keeping your teeth and gums healthy and bacteria-free. Good and consistent oral hygiene practices lower the risk of tooth decay and infections, helping reduce inflammation, pain, and discomfort.
Gentle Wisdom Tooth Treatment at Our Blackburn Clinic
At Whitehorse Dental, our caring dentists are well-versed in helping patients with wisdom tooth treatment. With a thorough examination and x-rays, pain and infection management, we strive to make your treatment as comfortable as possible. If you’re experiencing any of the signs of an impacted wisdom tooth or feel as if your wisdom tooth may be in the process of coming out, contact us for a consultation today.