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Wisdom Tooth Pain Central Coast

Wisdom Tooth Pain Central Coast

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If you are having wisdom tooth pain you are most likely between the ages of 18-21, however wisdom teeth can cause pain any time after this as well. Just because you are experiencing pain does not mean that tooth extraction is necessary. We always approach wisdom tooth removal conservatively.

5 Top Causes of Wisdom Tooth Pain

If you are wondering “why are my wisdom teeth hurting?” then you may be experiencing one or more of the following issues:

  1. Your wisdom tooth may have developed a localized gum infection called ‘pericoronitis’. This usually occurs when the tooth is not fully erupted and the gums are still sitting on top of the tooth. In these situations it is very easy for food or debris to become trapped under the gums.
  2. Your wisdom may be sore from nighttime tooth grinding. This is most common during stressful periods and is most apparent in the morning and often accompanied by sore muscles or a sore temporomandibular joint.
  3. Your wisdom may be rubbing against your cheek, or causing tissue irritation if there is insufficient room.
  4. Your nerve of your wisdom may be affected by a deep cavity or filling.
  5. Upper wisdoms can have a tendency to drift and create a food trap and this can become quite painful.

5 Top Causes of Wisdom Tooth Pain

If you are wondering “why are my wisdom teeth hurting?” then you may be experiencing one or more of the following issues:

  1. Your wisdom tooth may have developed a localized gum infection called ‘pericoronitis’. This usually occurs when the tooth is not fully erupted and the gums are still sitting on top of the tooth. In these situations it is very easy for food or debris to become trapped under the gums.
  2. Your wisdom may be sore from nighttime tooth grinding. This is most common during stressful periods and is most apparent in the morning and often accompanied by sore muscles or a sore temporomandibular joint.
  3. Your wisdom may be rubbing against your cheek, or causing tissue irritation if there is insufficient room.
  4. Your nerve of your wisdom may be affected by a deep cavity or filling.
  5. Upper wisdoms can have a tendency to drift and create a food trap and this can become quite painful.

What do I do if I am having wisdom tooth pain?

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Though no one wants to hear the words, ‘go see the dentist’, this is what you should do.  At Element Dental we look to prevent wisdom tooth problems through a thorough examination with radiographs. Dependent on intra-oral and radiographic findings we provide advice on how to prevent pain from becoming severe and only remove wisdoms that are deemed to be problematic. 

Problematic wisdoms are those which have limited space and access, they are difficult to clean, are tending to trap food and cause bad breath, are impacted, or are affecting the molar in front.  They are ultimately teeth that if given time will not resolve and continue to be problematic.   

If you are experiencing minor gum pain and your wisdoms are in the midst of erupting, you most likely have a localized infection. We treat these infections by removing the debris under the skin and teach our patients how to do this at home using a Monoject syringe and antibacterial mouthrinse. It is remarkable how quickly the pain resolves once the debris is removed.

If you are experiencing major gum or tooth pain, do not delay diagnosis as this can begin to restrict mouth opening.  As you can imagine it becomes very difficult to diagnose and treat someone if they are unable to open their mouth.

When we are dealing with lower wisdom teeth we often have the need to take a full mouth scan. The scan will show us the shape of the roots, the orientation of the teeth to determine if there is an impaction, and will show us if the tooth is near to the inferior alveolar nerve. In cases where we do need to plan a removal, we may also need to take a CBCT. This is a 3D scan that identifies the proximity of the tooth to the nerve to help us assess the risk of nerve injury.

Wisdoms that are at high risk of nerve injury or require general anaesthesia are referred to our local Maxillofacial Surgeon.  While our approach to wisdom tooth removal is conservative, if one or more wisdom teeth require removal under general anaesthesia it is often a good idea to have all wisdoms out in cases where there is any potential for the other wisdoms to cause a problem in the future.  It is expensive and not good for the body to undergo multiple general anaesthetics.

Impacted Wisdom Teeth

If your wisdoms are impacted, this also does not mean that tooth extraction is necessary. We are often requested to provide a second opinion for people that have been recommended to have their wisdoms out. 

Teeth that are impacted can be monitored when they are encased in bone and have not affected any surrounding structures or teeth. So many people, including dentists, believe these impacted teeth will push on the other teeth to cause crowding of the front teeth. The truth is that our muscles of mastication tend to pull our lower jaw into a direction that places forward forces on the mandibular teeth. It is these continuous forces throughout life that cause the crowding of the lower front teeth. You will find these teeth will crowd even in individuals who do not have wisdom teeth. You will also find that wisdoms impact so readily because they have such minimal eruption forces, and this is why they so readily become impacted.

Wisdoms that have broken through the bone and are sitting just under the skin can cause problems with gum infections and are more likely to affect the tooth in front.  These are wisdoms we look to remove.

Wisdom Tooth Removal

Wisdom teeth are either the easiest or the hardest teeth to remove and the procedure can range from a standard extraction to a surgical extraction.  A simple extraction is for teeth that have a favourable shaped root structure that are fully or near fully erupted. A surgical extraction on the other hand, is for teeth that have multiple roots, or are unerupted or minimally erupted. These teeth require sectioning and may require bone removal to access the tooth.   

Sedation options are available. We refer to a specialist for severe impactions, where there is a high risk of nerve injury, and when general anaesthesia is required.

Wisdom Tooth Recovery

We will provide you with post-operative instructions on the day. It is important to follow these instructions to assist in your healing. You should expect some discomfort, pain, swelling, and minimal bleeding after wisdom tooth removal. Surgical removal of wisdoms can result in greater post-operative discomfort. Regardless of the extraction procedure, pain can be easily managed through pain relief medication and we recommend the preemptive use of medication at regular intervals as oppose to waiting for pain to develop. Antibiotics are rarely required.

There is also a risk of dry socket and infection. Dry socket occurs when the blood clot is displaced and is considered a failure in healing. It is quite painful and you know when you develop a dry socket. This is also easily treated.

Call Element Dental to schedule a consultation or book online. 

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