Pain and discomfort in the back of the mouth may be a sign that a third molar, or wisdom tooth, has become infected. These teeth, which are known to erupt through the gum line when an individual reaches their late teens to early adult years, can become extremely problematic for some patients. Infection of a wisdom tooth is common, because of many different factors:
• The wisdom teeth can often become impacted or “stuck,” causing extreme pain and discomfort.
• The wisdom teeth are so far in the back of the mouth that they can be difficult to care for.
• The wisdom teeth have a high chance of experiencing tooth decay and contributing to periodontal disease.
• The wisdom teeth may be experiencing a large cavity that can increase infection risks.
How do I know if my wisdom tooth is infected?
There a few common signs that may indicate that a third molar is infected. This includes pain and discomfort in the area, as well as the surrounding muscles such as the jaw, neck, and throat. Patients may also show signs of overall infection in the body, including swollen lymph nodes. Other signs may including pus drainage, facial swelling, sore throats, or difficulty eating. When patients suspect an infection of their wisdom teeth, they are strongly encouraged to book a consultation visit with their dentist to get a full evaluation completed and obtain a proper diagnosis.
What can be done for treating wisdom tooth infection?
Once a patient has been diagnosed with an infection in their wisdom teeth, the dentist can then offer solutions. In most cases, patients may have their wisdom teeth removed during simple or surgical extraction, especially if the tooth is impacted. However, patients may also ask about taking antibiotics and treating the tooth as opposed to removal. Our dentist will educate patients on which solution is best for their situation.
Do you believe your wisdom tooth is infected?
Visit with a dentist as soon as possible to get a proper diagnosis and to discuss possible treatment options. At Hiebert Smith Dental Group, patients in the Saint Helens, OR area and surrounding communities can work with a provider to find relief. Call (503) 397-6144 today to schedule your visit at 1550 St. Helens Street.