Wisdom with Age: Wisdom Teeth Pain

wisdom teeth pain

As soon as we think that we have gotten rid of all the growing pains, we are gifted with one last nasty surprise – Wisdom teeth. Wisdom teeth is the last teeth to join the party, however, some of us does not have enough room in our jaw, so these teeth tend to get stuck. This can leave you with acute pain and many people tend to get their wisdom teeth removed as a result.

What are wisdom teeth?

Adults normally have close to 32 teeth. The last four teeth that grow at the back at the gums, one in each corner of the jaw, are called as wisdom teeth. They are called ‘wisdom teeth’ as they emerge way after than the rest of the teeth, and bring our total number of molars – the teeth used for grinding food – close to twelve. Although our wisdom teeth ends up appearing between the ages of 17 and 25, they may not appear in people for several years.

Why can wisdom teeth cause so much pain?

When your wisdom teeth starts to appear, your mouth would normally have close to 28 teeth. In lot of adults, these 28 teeth – including first and second molars – already accommodate all the space in their jaw and there is no space left for the wisdom teeth. As a result, your wisdom teeth end up becoming ‘impacted’ as they emerge. If impacted, the wisdom tooth could be stuck at an angle against your second molar. Consequently, it would end up only partially emerging.

The pain can be caused for several reasons:

  • In case it is partially emerged, the gum ends up being infected, inflamed and painful. This is called as ‘pericoronitis’
  • A pocket of infection termed an abscess can end up forming in the gum around an impacted wisdom tooth and second molar
  • A partially emerged wisdom tooth can end up getting decayed and cause toothache, because it becomes difficult to clean them

How can you treat painful wisdom teeth?

You will realize that your wisdom teeth causes discomfort as they emerge, but do not get impacted. With the help of an antibacterial mouthwash containing chlorhexidine you can soothe your gums if they are sore.

If the pain continues, then it is highly advised that you see a dentist who will x-ray your jaw to check whether your wisdom teeth have been impacted. To take care of the pain, your dentist may suggest that you remove one or more wisdom teeth. Reasons to remove a wisdom tooth include:

  • The tooth wouldn’t emerge properly because there isn’t enough room in your gums
  • The tooth managed to only emerge partially, and as it difficult to clean, it has decayed
  • Your wisdom teeth is leaving you with intense uneasiness and excruciating level of pain

Whilst waiting for your wisdom teeth to be extracted, and also after removal, you may wish to take a pain killer.