Even though you may not have any symptoms, your dentist may recommend that you have your wisdom teeth removed. Dentists often base their recommendations for wisdom tooth extraction based upon dental X-rays. While wisdom teeth problems are often asymptomatic, you may experience signs and symptoms. Here are some telltale signs and symptoms that may indicate it's time to get your wisdom teeth pulled:
If you see that your wisdom tooth is impacted or coming in sideways or crooked, it may need to come out. Impaction can lead to a dental abscess, gum infections, severe pain, and even damage to your other teeth.
If left untreated, impacted wisdom teeth may lead to chronic jaw pain and may even exacerbate your temporomandibular joint disease, or TMJ. If your wisdom tooth is not deeply impacted, your general dentist may be able to remove it without any problems.
If, however, part of the tooth has broken off or if it is deeply embedded in your gum tissue, you may need to see an oral surgeon. A local anesthetic is often used when only one wisdom tooth is being removed; however, if you are having all four teeth extracted, your oral surgeon may recommend dental sedation.
If you notice an unpleasant taste in your mouth, especially when chewing or biting down, you may have an infected wisdom tooth. The bad taste you are experiencing may be the result of purulent drainage that is seeping into your mouth from the soft tissue surrounding the tooth.
Purulent drainage contains bacteria-rich pus, and if a purulent dental infection is not recognized and treated with an appropriate antibiotic, the infection may spread to other parts of your body such as your throat and sinuses.
In addition to this, you may also develop a severe blood infection known as sepsis if your untreated tooth infection spreads. The bad taste in your mouth from a purulent infection may also accompany fever, chills, and headaches. If you develop these symptoms, see both your physician and dentist as soon as possible.
If you think you may have an impacted or infected wisdom tooth, make an appointment with your dentist, who will take X-rays of your teeth. If the infection is severe, or if your tooth is broken, the dentist may extract the tooth immediately and then prescribe antibiotics. If the tooth is growing in sideways and is only partially erupted from your gum tissue, you will need to see an oral surgeon for further evaluation and treatment.
Reach out to your family dentist to learn more.