Wisdom teeth are four extra molars that tend to erupt late in life, usually in your 20’s. Extra teeth are great news, only if our existing teeth lineup has room for four more. However, that’s rarely the case with the majority of us. Hence, when a wisdom tooth tries to sprout, it opens a pandora’s box of problems. One such issue is a wisdom tooth infection. In this article, we will discuss the causes of wisdom tooth infection primarily along with how it can be treated.
What Happens When Your Mouth Doesn’t Have Enough Space For Some New Teeth?
With little space in your jaw, the wisdom tooth can’t bud upright like the rest of your teeth. This lack of space is the root of all the wisdom tooth related problems. The wisdom tooth then tries to emerge at an angle, and the adjacent molars often obstruct its path. Hence, only a part of the tip of the wisdom tooth may emerge beyond the gums. This weird angle of eruption creates small pockets and crevices that are hard to clean.
What Are The Causes Of Wisdom Tooth Infection?
When there is not enough room for wisdom tooth eruption, it is impacted, and food remnants can collect in the pockets around the tooth. Now, these pockets are hard to reach and clean; thus, making it a perfect breeding ground for bacteria, which can kick start an infection.
Gum Infection: The bacterial buildup invades and infects the gums surrounding your wisdom tooth, and it’s mostly at the end of your mouth near the jaw joint. The symptoms of gum infection are typical with swelling and pain. When the swelling increases, you may find it difficult to open your mouth wide. Hence, this will also impact your ability to eat.
Wisdom Tooth Cavities: Your wisdom tooth is susceptible to cavities like all other teeth. This is not like the gum infection because the bacteria target hard tissue, unlike in gum infection, where bacteria attack soft tissue. The symptoms are similar to tooth cavities, which include excruciating toothache and increased sensitivity.
Wisdom Tooth Infection After Extraction:
Surgical removal of wisdom teeth is a common procedure to prevent recurrent infection and damage to other teeth. However, although chances are very slim, the site of extraction gets infected. A telltale sign of such an infection is a white or yellow discharge from the extraction site.
How Can Wisdom Tooth Infection Be Treated?
Your dentist will prescribe you an antibiotic with an OTC painkiller to treat this bacterial infection. They may also recommend an antiseptic and anti-inflammatory mouthwash. However, the best way to get rid of wisdom tooth infections for once and for all is through a wisdom tooth extraction.
Regularly brushing your teeth, especially covering the wisdom tooth, is a great way to prevent bacterial buildup. In this way, you can prevent infection until you can get the wisdom tooth removed. Regular dental checkups at Briar Forest Dental Group also help you avoid infection beforehand. Call us at 713-784-4430 to learn more about how we can help.