Wisdom teeth swelling is a condition where there is a swelling present in the gums around the wisdom teeth of the upper and/or lower jaw. This is a relatively common problem that many patients present to the dentist. It is a condition which is not only quite painful, but one which can also lead to a very visible and embarrassing problem.
One of the most common causes of the swelling is the presence of an infected tooth. More often than not, tooth decay is the main culprit. When a wisdom tooth gets infected, then the caries progress at a very fast rate, because it is not very easy to maintain oral hygiene, as the wisdom tooth region is relatively difficult to access. In certain rare cases, the swelling may even occur in relation with impacted wisdom teeth, as is seen in cases of cysts that form around such impacted teeth. Sometimes, there may be a swelling seen after extraction, but this normally lasts for a relatively shorter period of time and, normally recedes on its own after a week or so.
The most common symptom seen in cases of wisdom teeth swelling is a visible and large bulge present either near the corner of the mandible, if the swelling is related to the lower teeth. If the swelling is present near the temporomandibular joint, then the upper teeth have been affected. Sometimes, there may even be systemic symptoms like fever, pain, headache, radiating pain to the ear, difficulty in opening the mouth, difficulty eating, etc.
The first step that one needs to take is to properly diagnose the case and find out the reason as to why there is a swelling in the first place. If the tooth is badly carious, then one can try going in for root canal treatment as a last ditch effort to save the tooth. However, if the tooth is not salvageable, then it is best to get it extracted. If the tooth has not erupted yet and there is a swelling, then there is probably a cyst present in relation to the tooth. In such cases, there is need for extraction of not only the wisdom tooth, but also complete removal of the cyst, as otherwise, there are high chances of recurrence of the swelling. However, more often than not, the symptoms are normally seen after the removal. Even after a relatively less traumatic extraction of an erupted or impacted wisdom tooth, there is bound to be at least some amount of swelling. In such cases, one simple remedy is to apply an ice pack, as this helps in vasoconstriction, that is, constriction of the blood vessels in the region, thus, causing the swelling to recede. However, to reduce swelling after removal, you can also try out certain medications which help in decreasing the swelling. The wisdom teeth swelling recovery period will depend on the cause of the swelling.
Although slight swelling after tooth extraction is normal and expected, if the swelling persists and causes excessive pain and discomfort, it is best to show it to a dentist and get the condition diagnosed and treated at the earliest.
Disclaimer: This article is for informative purposes only, and should not be used as a replacement for expert medical advice.