If you’re like most people, you probably have a love-hate relationship with your wisdom teeth. On the one hand, they’re a sign that you’re officially an adult. On the other hand, they can cause all sorts of problems, from headaches to neck pain.
But what exactly are wisdom teeth and why do they cause so much trouble? Let’s take a closer look at these pesky little teeth and see if we can find some answers.
What are wisdom teeth?
Wisdom teeth are the third and final set of molars that most people get in their late teens or early twenties. They are called wisdom teeth because they usually appear when people are a bit older and “wiser” than they were when they got their first two sets of molars.
While some people have no problems with their wisdom teeth and they come in just fine, others may have problems with them. Impacted wisdom teeth are the most common problem. This means that the tooth is stuck under the gum tissue or bone and can’t come in. Other problems with wisdom teeth include crowding, damage to other teeth, or infections.
If you have wisdom teeth that are causing problems, your dentist or oral surgeon may recommend having them removed. This is a pretty common procedure and is generally safe and effective.
What are the symptoms of wisdom teeth problems?
The most common symptom of wisdom teeth problems is pain. You may also have swelling, tenderness, or redness in your gums. You may also have trouble opening your mouth wide. If wisdom teeth are coming in at an angle, they can push on the teeth next to them and cause crowding. If wisdom teeth don’t have enough room to come in, they can get stuck (impacted). Part of the tooth may be visible above the gumline, or you may only see the gum overlying the tooth. Impacted teeth can cause pain and crowding. They may also damage nearby teeth or trap food and bacteria, which can lead to infection.
What causes wisdom teeth problems?
There are a few reasons why wisdom teeth can cause problems. One is that they may not have enough room to come in (erupt) properly. If they don’t have enough room, they may grow at an angle or get stuck (impacted). This can cause pain, crowding, and other problems.
Another reason wisdom teeth can be a problem is that they’re more likely than other teeth to get cavities. This is because wisdom teeth are hard to reach with a toothbrush. And, if you have braces, it may be even harder to keep your wisdom teeth clean.
Wisdom teeth can also cause gum disease. This happens when plaque and tartar build up around the wisdom tooth and make it hard to keep the area clean. Gum disease can cause pain, swelling, and bleeding. It can also lead to infection.
How are wisdom teeth treated?
There are a few different ways that wisdom teeth can be treated. The first is to simply remove the tooth. This is the most common form of treatment and is usually recommended if the tooth is impacted or if there is not enough room in the mouth for it to come in correctly. The second form of treatment is to try and improve the alignment of the tooth so that it can come in correctly. This is done through a process called orthodontics and can sometimes be used in combination with tooth removal.
How can I prevent wisdom teeth problems?
To help prevent problems with your wisdom teeth, your dentist or orthodontist may suggest that you have them removed before they erupt. This is called prophylactic (preventive) removal and is recommended for people who have a higher risk of developing problems, such as wisdom teeth that are angled toward the back of the mouth (impacted), crowded teeth, or repeated cavities in the same tooth.
Are there any risks associated with wisdom teeth removal?
While complications associated with wisdom teeth extractions are rare, there are a few risks that you should be aware of. These include:
-Damage to surrounding teeth. This is more likely to occur if your wisdom teeth are impacted or if the roots of your wisdom teeth are close to the roots of surrounding teeth.
-Nerve damage. In very rare cases, the nerve that runs from your jaw to your chin can be damaged during wisdom teeth removal. This can cause numbness in your chin, lip and gums.
- Infection. As with any surgery, there is a risk of infection after wisdom teeth removal. Your dentist will prescribe antibiotics to help prevent infection.
- Bleeding and swelling. Some bleeding and swelling is normal after wisdom teeth removal. ice packs and over-the-counter pain medication can help alleviate these symptoms.
What are the long-term effects of wisdom teeth problems?
Wisdom teeth are the third and final set of molars that most people get in their late teens or early twenties. For some people, these teeth come in without any problems. But for others, wisdom teeth can cause a world of pain.
If wisdom teeth come in and crowd or damage other teeth, they may need to be removed. Wisdom tooth removal is one of the most common dental procedures performed on young adults. According to the American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons, about 4 out of 5 people have at least one wisdom tooth extracted by the time they reach age 30.
While wisdom tooth removal is typically a relatively safe and straightforward procedure, there are some risks associated with any surgery. These risks include infection, bleeding, and damage to nearby teeth. In rare cases, wisdom tooth removal can also cause problems with nerve function in the lower jaw.
If you’re experiencing pain or other problems with your wisdom teeth, be sure to talk to your dentist or oral surgeon about your treatment options.
Can wisdom teeth cause headaches and neck pain?
According to a 2012 study, around 30% of people who get their wisdom teeth removed experience some form of orofacial pain afterward. This can include headaches, earaches, and neck pain. The study found that the most common type of pain was a dull ache in the jaw, ear, or temple area.
There are a few possible reasons why wisdom teeth removal might cause headaches or neck pain. One is that the surgery can trigger a migraine in people who are prone to them. It’s also possible that the nerves in the area are irritated by the surgery or that the muscles in the jaw and neck are strained from being held open for an extended period of time.
If you do experience headaches or neck pain after wisdom teeth removal, there are a few things you can do to help relieve the discomfort. Taking over-the-counter pain medication like ibuprofen or acetaminophen can help reduce pain and inflammation. Applying ice to the outside of your face can also help numb the area and reduce swelling. If you’re still experiencing pain after a few days, it’s best to call your dentist or oral surgeon so they can check for any complications.