Wisdom teeth and symptoms

When a wisdom tooth is problematic symptoms may include   :

Pain and swelling of the gum overlying the impaction    , this is due to either infection of this operculum{gum flap}  or trauma from the tooth above hitting into it, or a combination of both.                             For example, a swelling that arises from infection may make the   upper tooth impinge onto the gum traumatizing it more and causing a vicious cycle.

Bad breath, due to infection and/or debris building up in the area.

A bad taste in the mouth, for the same reasons.

Pus coming out from the swollen gum area.

Aches when you open your mouth, as you are stretching the inflamed tissues.

Difficulty on opening your mouth.

Tenderness when chewing or biting as this hurts the swollen gum area.

Pain/ulcers on the inner cheek, where the pointy parts (cusps) of the impacted teeth may be digging into thesoft tissues of the cheeks.

Ear-ache, as pain can spread outward from the area.

They are prone to decay. This is because food can trap around them and they are difficult to clean. The tooth lying  beside will also be at increased risk of decay for the same reason.

The tooth may become sensitive and/or painful.

Likewise, the area is more prone to gum disease for similar reasons: it is difficult to clean.

Rarely, cysts and other such growths may form around an impacted tooth.

Therefore even when they aren’t causing pain, or other noticeable symptoms, they should be checked regularly.Your dentist can make sure that all is well in the area, or if any damage begins to occur then the situation can be remedied sooner rather than later.


What is an impacted wisdom tooth?

A tooth is described as impacted if it is blocked from erupting into the mouth fully.

Thus it will lie at an angle instead of being upright, remaining tipped against the tooth in front of it.

Technically, any tooth can become impacted but it is wisdom teeth that are the most often affected, owing to their late eruption.

Impacted teeth can cause a range of problems, but it should also be noted that they may cause no problems at all.

Why do we get problems with wisdom teeth?


Wisdom teeth pain symptoms, caused by their ‘impaction’,are a common problem. These ‘third molars’ are the”last teeth to erupt into the mouth. There are usually four, one in each corner of the mouth at the back.They most commonly appear between the ages of 17 and 24,but can also erupt much later.

Symptoms are common here as they are the last molars to enter the mouth, there is often not enough space for them to fully come through. Therefore they may only partially erupt into the mouth or not come through at all.

When there is enough room, they will come through into the  mouth normally and act as any other tooth. There may be some problems including dental pain as they are growing in,               (you may thus occasionally need some mild pain relief    such as ANTI INFLAMMATORY, paracetamol) but this will clear up once the tooth finds its final position.

Pain and other symptoms can arise when there is not sufficient room in the mouth. The tooth may become impacted.

Your childs teeth

Take good care of your child’s baby teeth. They do eventually fall out but until they do, baby teeth play an important role in helping your child bite and chew food, and speak clearly.

Even before your child gets his or her first tooth, you should wipe your child’s gums with an infant gum massager, clean damp gauze or a washcloth.
Once your child’s teeth come in, brush them twice a day using a soft  toothbrush with water..

Baby teeth also save space for the permanent teeth, and help guide them into place.
Underneath your child’s baby teeth, the roots and position of the adult teeth are growing into place.

Research shows that children who develop cavities in their baby teeth are more likely to develop cavities as an adult, so be sure to get your child to a dentist for a checkup.
It is important to keep your child’s baby teeth clean, but once the permanent teeth start to come in you really need to make cleaning them a priority. These teeth will last your child a lifetime.
Of course, even though they’re kids, their teeth are still susceptible to the same conditions and damage that adult teeth face.

It’s time to cut down on and limit sugary beverages and fizzy drinks!
Remember that giving your child a bottle of sweetened liquid many times a day, or allowing your child to fall asleep with a bottle during naps, or at night, can be harmful to the child’s teeth.

Many of the same treatment and evaluation options that adults have are also available to kids. These include x-rays, dental sealants, orthodontic treatment and fillings .

It is always better to visit the dentist when the cavity is small and the symptoms are mild,not to mention easier for your child !

Dont be fooled into believing that the milk teeth will fall out and with it the problem of the rotten teeth will disappear. Your child will complain of pain and can even develop an abscess if rotten teeth are left untreated!

Is it too early for braces?

As a parent ,you are always on the lookout for possible problem areas with your child.

And when you notice those front teeth are looking odd and are perhaps coming out too far back into the palate or perhaps you see the milk teeth hasn’t fallen out yet but the permanent tooth has started coming out already in front of the milk tooth, now is the time to trust your instincts and visit your dentist for a professional opinion.

I see so many patients with some type of discrepency in the jaws ,which could have easily been corrected when the child was 6 or 7 years old. All it may need is a simple expander appliance to correct the problem.

So my advice is ”  it’s never too early  “


What should I do if my filling falls out?

It all depends on if you are in pain or not?

If there is no pain then you can phone in and get an appointment that’s suitable,       and if there’s a sharp part of the tooth  thats cutting your tongue or cheek and you really can’t get to the dentist or its t a Sunday or holiday ,you can get a filling kit from the pharmacy to mix and stick over the sharp part and into the tooth itself as a temporary measure until you get  to your dentist.


Is having a root treatment painful?

Most patients have heard from others as to how painful a root canal is,however I find that most of the time patients  experience minimal if any pain.

Generaly ,with a good anaesthetic you don’t feel much of anything besides the scratching movement of the canal being cleaned out and disinfected.

Of course ,if its a ‘hot tooth’ ,meaning its got an abscess already and your face may be swollen,then you will need to finish a course of anti-biotics before we can start on that tooth.In those specific situations the tooth may have formed a protective hard substance, a ‘stone’ that can cause some challenges with complete anaesthesia.But there are methods of solving this problem too.

I advise taking an anti-inflammatory (Ibuprofen) to help reduce inflammation in the area and find that this generally helps alot with any sensitivity that may occur  between the stages of cleaning the tooth canal,filling the canal and closing the tooth with a filling.


Do you need a frenectomy?

Limited tongue movement can be very frustrating for an adult. Here are a few things to keep in mind when deciding whether or not you need to have the tongue -tie eased.

When you stick out your tongue in front of the mirror,does it point out or does it look heart shaped, without a point?Do you have problems with speech, especially articulating certain words which need the tongue to touch the top of the palate ?Does your tongue extend minimally out of your mouth ,perhaps not even over the lower lip?

for the upper tongue -tie,you may find that there is a gap between the front two upper teeth that doesn’t close even after your upper two canines or eye-teeth have erupted.

Life after a frenectomy can be very rewarding to your confidence and self esteem but keep in mind that some exercise is needed to stretch that tongue,it is a muscle after all !