Wisdom teeth are “evolutionary relics,” they were helpful to our distant ancestors who ate diets that consisted of rougher foods like sticks and reed plants. As teeth wore down or fell out, wisdom teeth provided replacements. However, in our new age world with modern advancements in oral hygiene and softer diets, we don’t need these replacement teeth, but they still grow in. Essentially, our mouths can hold 28 teeth, but including wisdom teeth, we have about 32 teeth all fighting for space.
Wisdom teeth grow in at the back of the mouth, behind your molar and you have a set on the bottom as well as the top. Wisdom teeth often grow in sideways or misaligned, so as they grow in, they can push on other teeth, causing problems of overcrowding and misalignment for them and symptoms such as bone and nerve damage, infection, swelling etc. can occur.
If you still have your wisdom teeth, you may be wondering if you are experiencing wisdom teeth pain. As the wisdom teeth come in, they can be very painful, but how will you know if the pain is because of your wisdom teeth?
- You’ll feel wisdom teeth pain at the back of your mouth, behind your molars. This pain will gradually increase with time as the wisdom teeth continue to grow in misaligned or sideways, pressing on nerves and bone, and crowding surrounding teeth.
- If you look into a mirror, you may even notice that your wisdom teeth have begun to poke through your gums.
- The area might also be red, inflamed and tender to the touch and infection. As wisdom teeth begin to erupt through the surface of the gums, this allows bacteria to enter through open tissue, which can result in infection. Oral infections have been shown to affect your overall health as well.
- Sensitivity and swelling at the back of the mouth and discomfort in the jaw
- Headaches could also occur, due to pressure from overcrowding in the jaw
- It’s also possible for wisdom teeth to become impacted, a state in which the jaw bone or neighbouring teeth block the teeth from erupting. They become trapped in place as their roots continue to elongate, and the longer they remain impacted, the more likely they are to cause problems for your oral and general health. Wisdom teeth symptoms due to impaction include severe pain at the back of the mouth, infection, and other complications. Foul breath, bad taste when chewing food, redness and swelling can all be signs of infection. If left untreated, impacted wisdom teeth can breed cysts and, in rare cases, tumours.
Some people, however, don’t have any visible symptoms of wisdom teeth pain.
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms and still have your wisdom teeth, book your appointment with Corne Smith Dentistry in Cape Town Claremont today.