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Wisdom Teeth Infection

Wisdom Teeth Infection

An infected wisdom tooth can cause excruciating pain and can leave you restless. This article provides information on causes of wisdom teeth infection. The remedies described in the present article can help relieve the irritating pain and can put a stop to sleepless nights.
Leena Palande
Last Updated: Mar 19, 2018
Wisdom teeth are the mandibular and maxillary third molars which erupt between the ages of 17 and 25. Generally, as wisdom teeth erupt last, less space is left for them. They cannot accommodate themselves properly in the existing space. So, they develop impacted, leading to overcrowding of teeth in the mouth. When a wisdom tooth erupts at an angle, it is not useful for chewing. Moreover, its eruption can prove to be harmful for the nearby tooth and gums. The impacted tooth can lead to several problems like tooth and gum infection, tooth decay, etc.
Symptoms of Infected Wisdom Tooth

Sometimes, due to the scarcity of space, wisdom teeth erupt partially or they cannot erupt at all. Mostly, they erupt partially in such a bad manner that they cannot be brushed properly. The flap of gum tissue created by them can easily hold food particles and debris. This becomes a hot bed for the harmful bacteria to settle down. The bacteria gradually invade the wisdom tooth and the surrounding area. Thus, leftover food particles are mainly responsible for an infection in the tooth and gum. Eventually, it leads to tooth decay. Medically, the condition is known as 'pericoronitis'. Following are the wisdom teeth infection signs:
  • Swollen gums
  • Difficulty in opening the mouth
  • Difficulty in chewing and swallowing
  • Bad smell or taste in the mouth, leading to bad breath.
  • Discharge of pus from the gum near the infected wisdom tooth.
  • Swollen lymph nodes under the jaw.
  • Swollen cheek (cheek on the affected side of the face)
  • Mild to severe toothache
  • Reddened, painful gums around the affected area
  • Muscle spasms in the jaw, though rare, may lead to excruciating pain.
  • Ulcers on the cheek
  • Mild to high fever
  • Development of a cyst or tumor (in rare cases)

Treatment
  • Antibiotics prescribed by the dentist help lower the pain and control the infection. But if the tooth remains in the same position, the infection can be repetitive. So, extraction of the infected tooth is usually advised once the infection is under control.
  • The dentist usually cleans the infected area and removes the pus. Cleaning helps prevent toothache and tooth decay. But the person may suffer from the infection after a few days/months and this fact cannot be overlooked. So dentists usually recommend removal of the tooth.
  • Rinsing the mouth with warm saltwater solution helps get rid of the harmful bacteria. It relieves wisdom teeth infection pain. This simple home remedy helps get rid of bad breath too. Swishing with warm saltwater helps soothe the gums.
  • A cotton swab dipped in clove oil, when pressed against the infected tooth, helps lower toothache. Chewing on a couple of cloves and pressing the crushed clove near the infected tooth helps alleviate the pain.
  • Application of camphor oil helps reduce the pain caused by an infected wisdom tooth.
  • To avoid teeth infection after removal of the infected teeth, you should eat soft foods initially and then start eating solid food gradually.
  • To prevent teeth infection after surgery, the healing area should not be often touched with the tongue. This may again spread the infection; as sometimes, the wound keeps bleeding. Some oozing of blood is possible. You should not rinse vigorously.
  • Take the medicines prescribed by the doctor. If you restrict to cold (food at room temperature) and liquid diet for two days after the surgery, it would be helpful for the healing wound.
Usually, there are four wisdom teeth in adults, but the number may vary from person to person. Some people have more than four wisdom teeth, while some are found to have less than four or even none at all. Regular dental checkup helps prevent worsening of tooth and gum infection. Proper dental care also helps prevent the infection.
Pericoronitis, at an early stage can be diagnosed only by a professional dentist during clinical examination. With the help of an X-ray taken when the tooth is still erupting, your dentist can predict whether or not it will cause problems. Early diagnosis and treatment help avoid complications and promote fast recovery too. If you follow the tooth care regime religiously and maintain perfect oral hygiene, no tooth can ever trouble you.
Disclaimer: This HealthHearty article is for informative purposes only, and should not be used as a replacement for expert medical advice.