Wisdom teeth are the last of our adult teeth to erupt. They’re located in the rear of our mouths and aren’t seen until we’re almost adults, and for some, not even until the early 20s!
For the majority of people today, wisdom teeth cause some type of problem and so need to be removed. It’s not uncommon for people to require emergency care from problems associated with their wisdom teeth coming in.
Here’s how wisdom tooth removal can become an emergency for some patients!
When There’s the Possibility of or an Existing Infection
Wisdom teeth that don’t have enough room to come through the gumline are called impacted wisdom teeth. These teeth can essentially get “trapped” in the jaw or will only partially emerge through the gums, which can lead to difficulty cleaning.
The result could be an infection called pericoronitis, which is the term for an infection caused by impacted wisdom teeth . Signs of an infection could include a high body temperature, pain and swelling around the affected area, or a bad taste in your mouth that doesn’t go away after brushing.
It’s rare, but tooth infections can be life-threatening as bacteria can get into the bloodstream, so if you suspect you have an infection in your mouth, don’t hesitate to seek emergency treatment .
When There’s Pain or Complications from Impacted Wisdom Teeth
We’ve seen how impacted wisdom teeth can cause an infection, but if not extracted or otherwise treated, they can cause other problems as well, some of which may require emergency treatment.
Impacted wisdom teeth can cause headaches, jaw soreness, and pain . People who visit their dentist regularly are usually aware of when their wisdom teeth are about to erupt. Your dentist can take x-rays to determine if the position of the wisdom teeth will be problematic or if everything looks good.
Wisdom teeth that are coming in at an angle or won’t be able to erupt through the gumline can be removed before they have a chance to cause any problems. Visit your dentist to ensure your wisdom tooth removal doesn’t become an emergency!
What to Do if You Think Your Wisdom Teeth Require Urgent Care
If you suspect you have an infection in your oral cavity or your wisdom teeth are causing you excruciating pain, it’s time to call your dentist.
Many dentists offer emergency hours and appointments to accommodate their patients and can talk with you more about scheduling a surgery on short notice. However, if you can’t see a dentist, go to the emergency room. While seeing a dentist is preferable, an infection shouldn’t wait to be seen, especially if it’s causing symptoms that could indicate a severe case.
Have your wisdom teeth come in yet? If not, schedule an appointment with your local dentist to determine if your wisdom teeth could need an extraction. By taking care of your smile and consulting your oral healthcare professional, you can avoid an emergency wisdom tooth removal!