Wisdom Teeth

Wisdom teeth tend to cause gum pain very frequently. They often come out at strange angles making them difficult to clean. As they are difficult to clean, bacteria accumulates around the gums causing an inflammatory reaction. The gum surrounding the wisdom tooth will now be a lot larger than before. When you bite down the tooth above may contact the swollen gum causing unbearable pain. You will most likely find that it is difficult to open your mouth fully.

Advice: Try to brush around the infected gum to remove the bacteria. This along with hot salt water mouth rinses will help reduce the pain. See a dentist to confirm the diagnosis and professionally clean the infected area.

Wisdom teeth FAQs

What are wisdom teeth?

These are also known as the third molars and are the last teeth present at the back of the mouth. There are usually four wisdom teeth, one in each corner of the mouth. Some people may actually never have any wisdom teeth erupt, or some may have only one or two of their wisdom teeth erupt.

Why do wisdom teeth hurt?

The problems arise with wisdom teeth, when they start to erupt incorrectly (at different angles etc) and start pushing against the other teeth which can cause pain. If there is not enough room at the back of the mouth, the wisdom teeth may not fully erupt, and these can get infected and cause pain and swelling at the back of the mouth which can be very uncomfortable. The pain can spread to the jaw and temple (side of the head), and it can be very difficult to eat and speak.

Are wisdom teeth removed by any dentist?

Wisdom teeth can be removed under local anaesthetic by dentists. However, if they are not fully erupted, or are erupting at a strange angle, then it can be quite difficult to remove these teeth and referral to a specialist or oral surgeon may be necessary in order for the tooth to be removed effectively and efficiently.

Impacted wisdom teeth (where they have an irregular eruption pattern and are often pushing against adjacent teeth) are the most common cause for specialist wisdom tooth extraction referral.

Is removal of wisdom teeth painful?

Wisdom tooth extraction is normally carried out under local anaesthetic so you will not feel any pain during the procedure.

What should I know after wisdom tooth removal?

It is important to keep the area clean to prevent a dry socket from occurring. Smoking should also be avoided for up to 10 days after the tooth has been extracted. Dry sockets are quite common after wisdom tooth extraction, so anything that can be done to try and avoid them is better. The area will be quite swollen and tender post extraction so lots of rest and painkillers if necessary will help make it more comfortable for you.

After lower wisdom tooth removal, there is chance of some temporary numbness around the side where the tooth was extracted. The chance of permanent numbness is very small but your dentist/oral surgeon will discuss this with you prior to your extraction, as the chances depend on your particular tooth and its position in the lower jaw.