I think toothache has to be one of the worst pains. I have suffered quite a lot with toothache either from having my braces fitted and tightened to having those devil wisdom teeth come through. Pain from the wisdom teeth is entirely normal, but when they become impacted the complications can be wide ranging. To help you pinpoint the source of your pain and work out if you need to see an out of hours dentist, the indicators below will help.
Pain from Growth
Wisdom teeth commonly appear in late adolescence (17 to 24), so during this time it is normal to experience short spells of discomfort due to the pushing through of wisdom teeth. If there is enough space, they will fit in at the back corners of the mouth and likely cause no further problems. If necessary, some pain relief will be all that’s needed.
Impacted Wisdom Teeth
The symptoms below are known to clear up and then return further down the line, which is why dentists often prefer to remove impacted wisdom teeth early and cut the cycle. Also, over time impacted wisdom teeth may spread an infection, so visiting the dentist is a proactive choice that will reduce the risk of a serious infection.
Pain and Swelling
When a wisdom tooth doesn’t have enough space to push through correctly, it will become impacted in some way and sit at an angle. One complication of this is localised pain and swelling of the gums due to infection or trauma of the operculum (flap of tissue over the impacted site).
Aches When Opening Mouth
Another symptom is inflamed tissue in the mouth that can be painful to stretch, which is why some people experience aches when opening their mouth or yawning. Tenderness and pain in the jaw can also cause these aches.
Problems With Chewing
Pain whilst chewing will also likely be because of tender, inflamed gums and cheeks. Further to this, any swollen tissue will make it more likely for you to bite down on your cheek.
A painful wisdom tooth may spread to the ear due to their close proximity, causing ear-ache.
Around an impacted wisdom tooth, the cusps of the tooth can penetrate the flesh and produce painful ulcers.
Build Up of Pus
The gums can also become infected due to trapped food under the operculum. It’s particularly hard to clean under this flap of tissue. If you are experiencing a bad taste in the mouth and pain from a localised swelling, a bacterial infection may be why.
Serious Complications from Impacted Wisdom Teeth
If left untreated, any of the symptoms above could lead to a fast-developing and serious infection. The signs of this include swollen glands, jaw spasms, malaise and swelling in the face. If you are experiencing any of the symptoms, you should go to your dentist or a local hospital.