Every year in the United States, about 10 million wisdom teeth are removed from 5 million people at a total cost of about $3 billion.
While there’s some debate whether all these extractions are strictly necessary (especially for people who aren’t experiencing any issues), if your wisdom teeth are causing you pain, you should get them checked out.
As Dr. Brian LaBombard and the expert team at Airport Dental Care can attest, ignoring pain caused by your wisdom teeth is a sure way to cause even more problems for your oral health and the rest of your body in general.
Here’s why you shouldn’t ignore wisdom tooth pain:
Why do you have wisdom tooth pain?
Wisdom teeth (your third set of molars in the back of your mouth) are usually the last permanent teeth to appear. Some people never get wisdom teeth, but for those who do, they usually come in between the ages of 17 and 25.
In some cases, wisdom teeth come in, or erupt, normally without any problems. For many people, though, wisdom teeth become impacted, which means they can’t grow in normally because there’s not enough room in the mouth.
Your dentist may be able to look at X-rays and determine your wisdom teeth need to be removed because they’re coming in at an angle or don’t have any room at all to come in.
In other cases, you can tell there’s trouble if you begin to feel pain in the back of your mouth where your wisdom teeth are located.
What can wisdom tooth pain lead to?
Let’s be clear — you can’t just ignore this pain and hope it goes away. It won’t. It only gets worse and causes other problems. For one, you may have difficulty maintaining your normal brushing and cleaning routine, which can lead to tooth decay, infection, and gum disease.
Depending on which way your wisdom teeth are growing, they also can damage neighboring teeth. The increased pressure the teeth generate can lead to numbness in your jaw and face.
If you continue to ignore the problem, fluid-filled cysts can form around the wisdom teeth, which can lead to hollowing of the jawbone. If a tooth becomes infected, the infection can easily travel through your bloodstream to your heart and the rest of your body.
What’s the solution?
The solution to wisdom teeth pain in most cases is to simply extract the teeth. This is usually an outpatient procedure; either your dentist can perform it, or they may refer you to an oral surgeon in your area.
Either way, they tell you exactly what to expect and give you specific directions for recovery. You typically heal from wisdom teeth extraction within a week.
If you have questions about wisdom teeth extraction or would like to schedule an appointment at Airport Dental Care, contact our office by phone or use our convenient online scheduler.