Is Wisdom Tooth Pain a Dental Emergency?
October 4, 2021
It feels like a jackhammer is drilling into your jaw. Wisdom tooth pain in Arlington is no joke. But is it a dental emergency?
When wisdom teeth are horizontally aligned or angled, they are known as impacted. They can push on your other teeth or roots, which can be painful and even shift your teeth.
Keep reading to learn potential signs of impacted wisdom teeth, problems that can arise if you don’t remove them, and what to expect during an emergency tooth extraction.
How Do I Know If I Have Impacted Wisdom Teeth?
Wisdom teeth can begin to cause problems before they are visible, so annual X-rays are an essential part of your dental exams. Here are some painful symptoms you might face with impacted wisdom teeth:
- Jaw Pain
- Shifting Teeth
- Tooth Sensitivity
- Swollen and Painful Gums
What Can Happen If I Don’t Remove Impacted Wisdom Teeth?
Not everyone needs to have their wisdom teeth removed. If your jawbone has enough room and they are coming in straight, they may be fine. But you risk long-term damage if you don’t remove impacted wisdom teeth with issues like:
- Cysts – can develop around the tooth’s crown and cause problems in adjacent teeth and bone
- Gum Disease – gingivitis or periodontal disease are possible
- Infection – common because impacted wisdom teeth are difficult to clean, especially regarding food particles
- Tooth Decay – wisdom teeth that have partially erupted are very hard to clean
- Tooth Damage – a cracked tooth can result from a wisdom tooth pushing against another tooth
- Misalignment – wisdom teeth can push against other teeth, causing them to shift and ruin orthodontic treatment
What Will Happen If I Need an Emergency Tooth Extraction?
If you are experiencing any symptoms of impacted wisdom teeth you may require emergency dental care. If your teeth are impacted, the oral surgeon will not be able to perform a simple extraction – it will require surgery. Here’s what to expect when you arrive for an emergency extraction:
- The doctor will apply an anesthetic to the area around your tooth and it will be completely numb in a few minutes.
- If you have dentophobia (fear of the dentist), they may use some form of sedation on you.
- The dentist will widen your tooth socket using a tool called an elevator, plus forceps, by applying pressure to the tooth from multiple angles.
- The dentist will secure the tooth with forceps and begin to gently rock it back and forth. They may rotate the tooth as needed to separate it from the ligaments.
- One or two stitches might be applied to close the wound.
- Once the procedure is complete, you will be given detailed aftercare instructions to ensure you heal comfortably.
Wisdom teeth get a bad rap – it’s actually the impacted version that’s the real problem. If you get one, it is liable to cause painful symptoms and require removal. For situations like these, it is valuable for you to have an emergency dentist identified before you ever face adversity. Don’t suffer from symptoms, your dentist can get you on the road to recovery!
About the Author
Dr. Stephen Wardlaw started I-20 Family Dental with Dr. Ken Karger just one year after he graduated from Baylor College of Dentistry. He has memberships in numerous professional associations including the American Dental Association and the Academy of General Dentistry. If you were to have a dental emergency in Arlington, Dr. Wardlaw is licensed in conscious sedation to ensure the entire experience is as stress-free and painless as possible. You are encouraged to call (817) 572-5115 if an emergency arises and further contact information is available on his website.
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