Can Wisdom Teeth Cause A Sore Throat?

Do you have the symptoms of a sore throat with wisdom tooth pain? Then don’t go running for your flu medication just yet. You might have an impacted wisdom tooth which might be infected. 

A wisdom tooth can cause problems if it does not have enough space to erupt. This causes issues such as swelling, infection, and damage to surrounding teeth, causing severe pain. In some cases, it is best to have the impacted wisdom tooth removed to avoid complications.

How can a wisdom tooth cause a sore throat? What are the symptoms of an impacted wisdom tooth, and what should you do when it happens?  We have the answers to all your questions, along with useful tips and precautions related to impacted wisdom teeth. Read on to learn more. 

What are wisdom teeth?

Wisdom teeth are the last molars at the back of your mouth. There are 3 molars on each side and 12 altogether. Wisdom teeth usually erupt between the late teens to early twenties and may cause complications because most of the adult teeth have already grown. 

There are four types of teeth in your mouth, each providing different functions to help chew, bite, and tear into food. The types of teeth in a human mouth are:

  • Skinny front teeth (incisors and canines) – help with tearing bits of food off or biting into apples, sandwiches, or meat. There are 8 incisors, two each in the lower and upper jaw. Located next to the incisors are 4 canines which have a sharper edge, 2 at the top and 2 at the bottom
  • Back teeth (molars) – are flatter and help with crushing food and chewing so that it can be mushy enough for your gut to digest it. There are 12 molars, 6 each at the top and the bottom. 4 of the molars are wisdom teeth
  • Premolars – have a more rounded shape and are located between the front and back teeth. They help to grind the food into smaller pieces, assisting with tearing and crushing for proper digestion

Wisdom teeth are the smallest molars through evolution. But if there’s not enough room in the mouth for them to grow, then they become impacted.

Impact of wisdom teeth

Impacted wisdom teeth can get stuck because of overcrowding. They may erupt partially, get stuck halfway, grow at a wrong angle or sideways. Since the impacted wisdom tooth is covered by a flap of gum, the food particles may get stuck inside them, making them difficult to clean. This leaves them at risk for bacteria which eventually lead to infection, causing pain, swelling, bad breath, tooth abscess or pus and in some cases a sore throat. 

Not everyone may have impacted wisdom teeth. They are fine if they grow fully, or stay deep inside the bone.

Why wisdom teeth can cause a sore throatcan wisdom teeth cause a sore throat

A wisdom tooth infection starts from the tooth and then spreads across the jaw, moving to the other teeth.  Depending on the people’s anatomy, it can also spread to the cheeks, tongue, and down the throat. This causes a sore throat and other symptoms such as tenderness, trouble swallowing and jaw pain.

Treatment for a sore throat caused by wisdom teeth

The only permanent solution for an infected wisdom tooth is to extract it fully. Your dentist will need to clean the infection and remove the wisdom tooth with surgery. Depending on each case, a thorough professional cleaning may also work. But it’s almost always recommended to remove impacted wisdom teeth to avoid future complications and oral problems in the future. 

Temporary local solutions for impacted wisdom teeth include salt water rinses, brushing, or thorough cleaning from a dentist and possibly antibiotics. 

Do you need a Wisdom Tooth Extraction?

If you have consistent tooth pain at the back of your mouth, swollen gums, trouble eating, and jaw pain get it checked by a qualified dentist. You may be experiencing the initial symptoms of an impacted wisdom tooth. Treating it in the early stages could help you prevent infection and further pain, allowing the dentist to evaluate if it may need to be extracted.At Whitehorse Dental, we are dedicated to ensuring your oral well-being and overall health. Our dentists work with you, conducting a thorough dental examination to recommend personalised treatment plans. If you need a wisdom tooth removal and are anxious about the surgery, talk to our caring dentists. They will address your concerns and walk you through the procedure to make your wisdom tooth removal and treatment as comfortable as possible. Reach out to us at our Blackburn clinic for a consultation.