Dealing with Impacted Wisdom Teeth
Wisdom teeth are usually the last adult teeth to erupt. Most people have four wisdom teeth at the back of their mouth, two on the top jaw and two on the bottom. When a wisdom tooth doesn’t have enough room to erupt or develop normally, we say it is impacted. In many cases, impacted wisdom teeth result in pain, damage to other teeth, and other dental problems in the long term. In some cases, an impacted tooth may not cause as much pain, but because it is difficult to reach, you’ll have a hard time cleaning it, making it more susceptible to tooth decay and gum disease. In this article, Shreveport’s dentist Dr. Kacos, shares some tips for dealing with impacted wisdom teeth.
What Age Do Wisdom Teeth Come In?
Wisdom teeth usually emerge between the ages of 17 and 25, and they can become impacted because your jaw doesn’t have enough room for the emerging teeth. Sometimes it grows at a wrong angle towards the next molar. Other times, the wisdom tooth grows in the opposite direction, toward the back of the mouth. If you have overcrowded teeth, your wisdom teeth may not have enough room to fully emerge.
Additionally, the wisdom tooth may grow at a right angle to other teeth due to its position on the jawbone, or it may grow straight up or down like other teeth but stay trapped within the jawbone. The tooth may be partially impacted, where some of the crown is visible, or it may be fully impacted, where the tooth never breaks through the gums.
Symptoms of Impacted Teeth
You should know that not all impacted wisdom teeth cause visible symptoms. Once an impacted wisdom tooth becomes infected, damages the neighboring teeth, or causes other dental issues, you may experience some of the following symptoms:
- Tender gums that bleed easily when you brush or floss.
- Red or swollen gums.
- Swelling around the jaw.
- Jaw pain.
- Difficulty opening your mouth.
- Constant bad breath and an unpleasant taste in your mouth.
If you experience any of these symptoms, contact Dr. Kacos, an endodontist in Shreveport LA, for a consultation. They may be pointing to a deeper, more serious problem. However, if you are only feeling pain in your wisdom teeth, you might want to try these Dr. Kacos-approved home remedies to reduce the pain.
Home Remedies for Impacted Teeth
Although getting your impacted wisdom tooth removed by the best dentist in Shreveport, LA, is the most effective way to eliminate the pain. These home remedies and over the counter treatments can help you in the meantime:
Try Numbing Gels
Numbing gels are available over the counter and online, and they can help reduce feeling in your gums and limit the pain you feel. The gels can be applied directly onto the affected gums throughout the day to keep your pain levels low. However, they contain the active ingredient benzocaine, which some people may be allergic to.
Use Over The Counter Pain Relievers
OTC pain relievers can help reduce the inflammation that causes swelling and pain in the gums. Ibuprofen, along with other NSAIDs (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) can help manage the pain effectively, but make sure you take the recommended dosage.
Apply an Ice Pack
Ice packs are great as well for reducing inflammation in the jaw and gums, which in turn causes pain. Try holding the ice pack against your jaw for up to 15 minutes at a time until the pain subsides.
Saltwater is a natural disinfectant, says Dr. Cody Boals, an emergency dentist in Colorado Springs, and rinsing your mouth with it can help reduce bacteria. The bacteria will build up in the broken gums around the impacted wisdom tooth, feeding on food debris and releasing toxins, which can cause pain. Dissolve a few tablespoons of salt into a glass of freshly boiled water and swirl it around your mouth for several minutes and spit once it cools slightly. You can do this two or three times a day until the pain subsides.
Cloves are another natural pain reliever, and Dr. Kacos, an emergency dentist in Shreveport LA, encourages you to try it. You can either use a whole clove or clove oil. With a whole clove, place it over the impacted wisdom tooth and hold it in place until the pain subsides, then spit it out. If you’re using clove oil, put a few drops of the oil on a ball of cotton wool and place the wool over the impacted wisdom tooth.
Chew on an Onion
Onions are also known to have anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties. Chew on a piece of onion with the side of the mouth that is hurting for a few minutes. This allows the juice from the onion to soak your gums, thus eliminating bacteria and reducing inflammation.
Drink a Cup of Tea
Teabags contain tannins which have antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. Make a plain cup of tea (no milk, cream, or sugar) and put the cup with the teabag in the fridge. Once it has cooled completely, place the tea bag onto the impacted tooth and hold it there until the pain subsides.
Visit Your Shreveport Dentist
If none of these home remedies reduces the pain or you are experiencing any of the symptoms described above, you may have to contact Shreveport’s dentist Dr. Kacos for a removal. A local anesthetic will be applied to the affected area to numb it, and the dentist will remove the tooth. It’s a relatively short procedure, usually lasting 20 minutes or more. Do you have an impacted tooth that’s causing you lots of pain? The best dentist in Shreveport, LA, Dr. Kacos, would love to help. Contact us today for a consultation.