Signs Your Wisdom Teeth Should Be Removed: What to Look For

by | Jun 26, 2024 | Wisdom Teeth

signs your wisdom teeth should be removed

The final set of teeth, wisdom teeth or third molars, erupts in the late teens or early twenties. For some people, these teeth come in without problems and function like any other.

However, wisdom teeth can cause various issues that necessitate their removal for many others.

Understanding the signs that indicate your wisdom teeth need to be removed is crucial for maintaining oral health and preventing complications.

Here are the key indicators to look out for:

Pain and Discomfort

Persistent pain and discomfort are among the most prevalent indicators that your wisdom teeth may need to be extracted.

This pain can manifest in several ways:

  • Jaw Pain: You may experience a dull, aching pain in the back of your jaw. This discomfort can become more pronounced when you chew or open your mouth widely.
  • Toothache: The pain might be localised around the wisdom teeth themselves. This can cause anything from minor aches to excruciating pains.
  • Radiating Pain: Sometimes, the pain can radiate to nearby teeth or even cause headaches.

Swelling and Redness

An obvious indicator of concern is swelling and redness in the gums surrounding the wisdom teeth.

Several factors can cause this inflammation:

  • Infection: If the wisdom teeth partially emerge through the gums, they create an opening for bacteria to enter, leading to infection.
  • Impaction: When a wisdom tooth cannot fully emerge, it can push against other teeth or remain trapped in the jaw, causing swelling and inflammation.

Gum Disease and Tooth Decay

Wisdom teeth that have partially erupted present cleaning challenges increasing the risk of gum disease and dental decay.

Signs of these conditions include:

  • Bleeding Gums: Easy bleeding from the gums, particularly after brushing or flossing, maybe a sign of periodontal disease.
  • Bad Breath: Bacterial buildup around partially erupted wisdom teeth can result in persistent bad breath or a bad taste in your mouth.
  • Cavities: Wisdom teeth, particularly those that are hard to reach, are more susceptible to cavities.

Cysts and Tumours

Sometimes, wisdom teeth can cause cysts or tumours around the impacted tooth. If left untreated, these fluid-filled sacs can damage the jawbone, teeth, and nerves.

Signs to watch for include:

  • Swelling in the Jaw: Noticeable swelling in the jaw or below the jawline can indicate the presence of a cyst.
  • Numbness: If a cyst or tumour compresses a nerve, you may experience numbness in your lips, tongue, or chin.

Misalignment of Teeth

Wisdom teeth can exert pressure on adjacent teeth as they try to emerge, leading to misalignment.

Signs of shifting teeth include:

  • Crowding: Your other teeth may crowd together, becoming crooked or overlapping.
  • Changes in Bite: You may notice a difference in how your teeth fit together when you bite down, which can lead to discomfort or difficulty chewing.

Sinus Issues

The sinuses are near the roots of the top wisdom teeth. If these teeth become problematic, they can cause sinus pain, pressure, and congestion.

Signs of sinus-related issues include:

  • Pain and Pressure: Persistent pain or pressure in the sinus area, especially near the upper jaw, can indicate problems with the upper wisdom teeth.
  • Nasal Congestion: Chronic nasal congestion that doesn’t seem related to allergies or colds might be linked to wisdom tooth issues.

Difficulty Opening Your Mouth

Your wisdom teeth may need to be extracted if you are experiencing pain or find it more challenging to open your mouth wide.

This symptom, known as trismus, can result from:

  • Impaction: An impacted wisdom tooth can cause muscle spasms and inflammation, limiting jaw movement.
  • Infection: Infection around the wisdom teeth can also lead to difficulty opening your mouth entirely.

Frequent Headaches

Frequent headaches can sometimes be traced back to wisdom teeth problems.

The pressure and inflammation caused by impacted or problematic wisdom teeth can contribute to tension headaches and migraines.

If you notice a correlation between your headaches and other dental issues, it may be worth discussing with your dentist.

What to Do If You Notice These Signs

If you experience any of the above symptoms, scheduling an appointment with your Canley Heights dentist or oral surgeon is vital.

Your wisdom teeth will be thoroughly examined, possibly with X-rays taken to determine their position and state. Based on the outcome, they will suggest the best course of action.

The Wisdom Teeth Removal Process

If removal is deemed necessary, the procedure typically involves the following steps:

  1. Consultation: During the initial consultation, your dentist or oral surgeon will discuss the procedure, including potential risks and benefits.
  2. Anaesthesia: You will be given anaesthesia on the day of the treatment to ensure you are pain-free and comfortable. The level of comfort and the complexity of the extraction will determine whether you require general anaesthesia or only local anaesthesia.
  3. Extraction: To access the tooth, the surgeon will create a cut in the gum tissue. Sometimes, breaking the tooth into smaller pieces will make removal easier.
  4. Stitches: If necessary, stitches will be used to close the incision. These stitches may dissolve independently or require removal at a follow-up appointment.
  5. Recovery: You will receive detailed post-operative care instructions to aid healing and avoid issues following the treatment. This may include taking prescribed medicines, applying ice packs, and eating soft foods.

Recovery and Aftercare

Recovery from wisdom teeth removal generally takes about one to two weeks.

It’s important to follow your dentist’s aftercare instructions closely during this time to make sure a smooth recovery.

Critical tips for a successful recovery include:

  • Rest: Give your body time to heal by getting plenty of rest.
  • Ice Packs: Use cold packs on your face to ease pain and swelling.
  • Soft Foods: Avoid firm meals like smoothies, mashed potatoes, and yogurt to prevent irritation of the surgery site.
  • Hydration: Drink lots of water, but refrain from sucking with a straw to prevent the blood clot from moving and hasten the healing process.
  • Oral Hygiene: Follow your dentist’s instructions for keeping your mouth clean without disturbing the surgical site.

When to Seek Immediate Medical Attention

While complications from wisdom teeth removal are rare, it’s essential to be aware of the signs that indicate you need immediate medical attention.

These include:

  • Severe Pain: Intense pain that doesn’t improve with medicines can indicate a problem.
  • Excessive Bleeding: Bleeding that doesn’t stop after applying pressure for 30 minutes needs medical attention.
  • Fever: An infection may be indicated by a fever.
  • Pus or Discharge: Any pus or discharge from the surgical site should be evaluated by a dentist.

Wisdom teeth can cause many problems, from pain and infection to impacting other teeth and even causing structural changes in your mouth.

Recognising the signs that your wisdom teeth may need to be removed is crucial to maintaining oral health.

Maintaining a healthy and pain-free smile can be achieved by scheduling routine dental examinations and receiving timely treatment for any symptoms that may arise.

Do not hesitate to seek professional consultation from your Casula dentist if your wisdom teeth are causing issues.

Wisdom Teeth Removal in Casula

Wisdom tooth extractions performed in our Casula clinic are safe and worry-free. Your treatment plan is carefully tailored specifically to your needs!

At Casula Dental Care, we provide comprehensive dental services tailored to your individual needs.

We are a family-friendly dental clinic, welcoming patients of all ages in Casula and the surrounding areas.

Our experienced team is here to provide immediate and compassionate care to address your needs.

Visit us today at Shop 17A Casula Mall, 1 Ingham Drive in Casula, or call (02) 919 99695 to schedule your appointment.

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