All You Need to Know About Wisdom Tooth — Pain, Price, Extraction, Aftercare & More
Have you ever thought about what the actual purpose of wisdom teeth is? Those – often painful – third molars have made us think about this a lot.
Now, let’s go together through all things wisdom teeth – we’ll explore their origins, the issues they often bring, the extraction process, and the essential aftercare steps!
History of Wisdom Teeth – What Is a Wisdom Tooth?
Imagine an era when our ancestors wrestled with rugged diets that required vigorous chewing. Enter wisdom teeth, also known as third molars. These additional molars served as nature’s response to the dietary demands of our predecessors, aiding in the effective breakdown of coarse foods. Fast-forward to the present, where our diets have evolved, rendering these extra molars somewhat obsolete. With our softer diets, wisdom teeth often emerge misaligned or impacted, triggering a range of dental complications that warrant attention.
Not everyone has wisdom teeth. While these teeth are a natural part of human dentition, some people might not have them at all, while some may develop all four wisdom teeth or only one or two. The absence or presence of wisdom teeth is mainly influenced by genetics and evolution. In some cases, wisdom teeth may not develop at all and their absence doesn’t impact oral health.
How can you tell if your wisdom teeth are causing issues? Keep an eye out for signs such as lingering pain towards the back of your mouth, gums that are swollen or bleeding, trouble fully opening your mouth, and a feeling of stiffness in your jaw. These clues might suggest that your wisdom teeth are indeed causing a bit of trouble.
Wisdom tooth pain can manifest in various ways, but it often feels like a persistent, dull ache or throbbing discomfort in the back of the mouth. Some people describe it as a sharp, shooting pain that radiates to the jaw, ear, or even the head. The pain can range from mild to severe and may come and go, depending on the stage of wisdom tooth eruption or if there’s an underlying issue, such as impaction or infection. Swelling and tenderness in the gums near the wisdom tooth are also common. It’s essential to note that the sensation can vary from person to person.
Generally, the wisdom tooth pain can last anywhere from a few days to a couple of weeks. During this period, it’s common to experience soreness, swelling, and mild pain. The pain often peaks within the first 72 hours and gradually subsides as the healing process unfolds. However, if the pain persists beyond a couple of weeks or worsens over time, it’s imperative to consult your dentist.
Prolonged pain could indicate complications like infection or a dry socket. Remember, while some level of discomfort is to be expected, any pain that feels unmanageable or alarming should prompt you to seek professional advice promptly!
Coping with wisdom tooth pain can be challenging, but several strategies can provide relief as you await the healing process. Over-the-counter pain relievers can help alleviate mild to moderate pain. It’s important to follow the recommended dosage and guidelines on the medication label. Applying cold packs externally can also help in reducing inflammation and soothing the affected area. Additionally, maintaining proper oral hygiene is crucial. Gently rinsing your mouth with warm salt water can provide temporary relief and help keep the area clean.
In cases of persistent or severe pain, professional intervention is essential. Consult your dentist for a thorough evaluation of the situation.
They can prescribe stronger pain medications or antibiotics if necessary. For individuals who are experiencing severe pain due to an impacted wisdom tooth, extraction might be recommended to alleviate discomfort and prevent further complications.
Remember, while these steps can offer temporary relief, personalised advice from a dental expert is key to addressing wisdom tooth pain effectively.
Wisdom Tooth Growing Sideways
When a wisdom tooth grows sideways, it’s typically referred to as “impacted”. This means that the tooth does not emerge in the correct vertical position, often due to a lack of space in the jaw. Sideways-growing wisdom teeth can cause a range of issues, including pain, pressure, and potential damage to adjacent teeth. In some cases, they can lead to infection, cyst formation, or damage to the jawbone. Dentists often recommend the removal of impacted wisdom teeth to prevent these complications and alleviate discomfort. The procedure usually involves a surgical extraction and is performed under local anaesthesia or sedation to ensure your comfort.
An abscess on a wisdom tooth is a painful and potentially serious dental condition. It occurs when bacteria infect the tooth’s pulp, often due to the tooth being partially covered by gum tissue, making it difficult to clean properly. The infection can lead to severe throbbing pain, swelling, and even fever in some cases. It’s crucial to seek prompt dental care when dealing with a wisdom tooth abscess, as untreated abscesses can lead to further complications, such as the spread of infection to surrounding tissues or even systemic health issues. Dentists can provide treatment options, which may include antibiotics to control the infection and, in some cases, wisdom tooth extraction to prevent future recurrences.
For those grappling with persistent discomfort, wisdom tooth extraction often becomes the chosen route. This outpatient procedure involves numbing the area with a local anaesthetic and skilfully removing the problematic tooth. Despite its reputation, advancements in dental techniques have made the extraction process smoother and more manageable.
Feeling anxious about the wisdom tooth extraction?
Don’t worry, all you have to remember is that dentists are adept at calming nerves. They’ll guide you through each step, offer sedation options if needed, and address any concerns, ensuring you feel at ease throughout the procedure.
With the wisdom tooth out of the picture, the journey to recovery begins. Following your dentist’s aftercare instructions diligently is crucial. This may involve taking prescribed medications, using cold packs to reduce swelling, and opting for soft foods to prevent irritation.
Sometimes, the recovery journey encounters bumps, such as the dreaded dry socket—a painful condition arising when the blood clot at the extraction site dislodges. If this occurs, promptly reaching out to your dentist is essential. They can guide you through managing the situation and ensuring a smooth healing process.
The cost of wisdom tooth extraction in the UK can vary depending on several factors. Generally, the price may range from £75 to £300 per tooth for a straightforward extraction under local anaesthesia. However, if the procedure is more complex, such as removing impacted wisdom teeth, the cost can be higher, potentially ranging from £225 to £375 per tooth or more.
Private dental practices often charge more than NHS services, and additional fees might apply for consultations, X-rays, sedation, or general anaesthesia. The exact cost can also be influenced by the region of the UK and the specific dentist or oral surgeon performing the extraction. It’s essential to discuss the anticipated costs and payment options with your dental provider before the procedure.
In conclusion, wisdom teeth, or third molars, can cause a lot of discomfort. In this blog, you found out what the pain from a wisdom tooth feels like, how much the extraction costs, what happens when a wisdom tooth grows sideways and more!
However, all you need to know is that seeking timely dental advice and treatment is crucial to managing wisdom tooth-related issues effectively and maintaining oral health. It’s essential to be informed and discuss treatment options with a dental professional when dealing with wisdom tooth concerns!
If you have any questions or concerns relating to your wisdom teeth, book a checkup with us!