There probably comes a time in your adult life where you start to recognise some of the signs below:
- You have a constantly throbbing jaw
- You suffer from sore throats and swollen neck glands
- The gums around your wisdom tooth are swollen
- You have a bad breath all the time (and also an icky taste on your taste buds)
- Food keeps getting caught in near the gums of your wisdom teeth
- You suffer from tooth decay or gum disease
If you relate to any of the above symptoms, your wisdom teeth could be the cause behind the pain.
Why is your wisdom tooth hurting you?
During our caveman days, we needed our four molar teeth to chew through a tough diet of seeds, barks, tendons, and fresh meat. Plus they were useful as we were constantly losing our other teeth due to tooth decay and other cavemen stuff like being punched in the mouth by a sabre-toothed tiger.
Now, our jawbone has become smaller and we have dentists taking care of our teeth. We have a softer, more refined diet, and flouride in our water. Because of this, we tend to keep most, if not all, of our teeth.
With a smaller jawbone and all our teeth intact, there is simply not enough room for our wisdom teeth to fully erupt into our mouths. This causes them to grow at an angle to fill the available space and become what we call impacted wisdom teeth.
Impacted wisdom teeth are awfully difficult to keep clean and healthy throughout our lifetime.
Its secluded position at the back of the mouth makes it the perfect spot for plaque to build up.
Eventually, causing the following problems:
The infection of the soft tissue surrounding the tooth. That’s where your constant throbbing of the gum is coming from.
The formation of holes in the teeth. Over time, this can also spread and affect neighbouring second molars
Periodontal or gum disease
Infected and swollen gums. This can also spread and affect first and second molars, as well as the bone surrounding the tooth. Gum disease is the reason behind your red, swollen, and easily bleeding gums.
Cysts and tumours
In rare cases, the tissue surrounding the impacted wisdom tooth can become infected, increasing the risk of a cyst or tumour development.
Crowding of your teeth
Although controversial, many feel that impacted wisdom teeth directly contribute to crowding, or shifting, of your teeth. There are many factors causing teeth to shift and impacted wisdom teeth may play a contributory role.
So, what should I do to get my wisdom tooth removed?
It’s not always clear if wisdom teeth should be removed. Go see your (or a) dentist. The dentist will make a thorough dental examination by studying your teeth, gums, and jaw. Then he or she will make a decision that’s best for your situation.
Top Tip: If surgery is required, schedule it so you have two to three days to recover. Trust us. You’ll probably need it.
Are you afraid of getting your wisdom tooth removed? Why? Will you ever take the plunge?