Frightening Facts About Infected Wisdom Teeth
Wisdom teeth are the last teeth to erupt into one’s mouth, when one is between 17 and 25 years. Many take the eruption of the wisdom teeth as a sign of maturity. However, this maturity comes with its own challenges. In most cases, there is little space in the gum to accommodate the teeth. Therefore, the teeth tend to emerge only partially most often. This partial emergence leads to creation of gum tissue flaps that further tend to trap bits of food and food debris. Consequently, bacteria start breeding in that area followed by inflammation of tissues around the emerged wisdom teeth.
- This condition is commonly known as pericoronitis and is characterized by:
- Painful and swollen gum tissues around the wisdom teeth
- Headaches associated with the painful gum tissues
- Bad smell due to the decaying food debris in the mouth
- Bad taste in the mouth due to the acid emitted by the decaying food debris
- Pus discharge from the gum area surrounding the wisdom teeth
Periodontal Infections of Wisdom Teeth
Eruption of wisdom teeth requires extra dental care and if the teeth are not treated with the attention it needs, periodontal disease may occur. Dentists recommend observation of oral health and two dental visits per year, especially after the emergence of the wisdom teeth. If proper dental care is not observed, food particles may get trapped on the sides of the wisdom teeth leading to decay. The acid produced in turn causes tooth erosion and inflammation of the surrounding gum tissues. This can definitely result to periodontal bacteria that can cause gum disease and furthermore, it can travel through the bloodstream and affect other organs. Therefore, even if the wisdom teeth emerge fully; there is a need for proper dental and oral care.
There are two types of approaches in the treatment of such infections:
1) Conservative approach
In this approach the dentist cleans your teeth, recommends proper dental care, use of warm salty water and mouthwash, and gives you antibiotics.
2) Surgical approach
This approach is recommended if the conservative approach is seen to be inadequate. This basically involves the removal of the affected teeth or tooth. This is considered the best option for pericoronitis since the infection often recurs even after the removal of the gum tissue flaps.
However, there is no need to panic about the loss of tooth because there are specialist cosmetic dental services in Bellevue that can provide an easy permanent solution – dental implants- designed just for you.
Root Canal Therapy
When the infection around the wisdom teeth persists, the dental pulp in the wisdom teeth may also be affected. This happens when the tooth cavity reaches the nerves and soft tissues of the tooth or teeth thus spreading the infection and decay to the nerves.
Common symptoms of root canal infection include:
– Painful tooth when chewing
– Tooth oversensitivity to hot or cold foods and drinks
– Facial swelling
If not treated fast, the infection may spread the tooth bone and consequently result in tooth loss.