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Common Causes for A Wisdom Tooth Extraction

upper wisdom tooth extraction

1. Dental Emergency from Wisdom Tooth Pain

A common dental emergency frequently seen in dental offices is pain caused by a wisdom tooth.  Very often gum infection around the wisdom tooth, called pericoronitis is the source for discomfort.  Usually, this infection requires the removal of the offending wisdom tooth for the pain to be resolved.

Wisdom Tooth Extractions due to infection

Wisdom tooth infection, also called Pericoronitis, is the most common cause for wisdom tooth extractions.  It’s very difficult to keep wisdom teeth clean because they’re often covered by gum tissue.  Over time, the food particles that are not cleaned  under the gum will become a source for bacterial growth.  This infection will cause swelling  and discomfort for the patient.   The most effective treatment is wisdom tooth extraction. 

Can Antibiotics Help with Wisdom Tooth Infection?

Antibiotics often take several days (2-3 days) to be effective.  Patients with wisdom tooth pain will usually benefit the most with wisdom tooth extraction combined with a course of antibiotics.  When patients just take antibiotics without the removal of the infected wisdom tooth, the infection will usually return within a few months.

upper wisdom tooth extracted

2. Wisdom tooth Extraction due to Cavities

Wisdom teeth can be very hard to clean with a tooth brush.   For that reason they can develop cavities.  If the cavity grows to reach the nerve of the tooth, the patient will experience pain.  It’s usually best to extract wisdom teeth with large cavities. 

Is a Wisdom Tooth Extraction Painful?

The actual tooth extraction is not painful most of the time.  However, the patient will feel some pressure.  Usually, wisdom tooth extraction in the lower jaw will cause more post-op discomfort than a wisdom tooth extraction in the upper jaw.  That’s because the bone in the lower jaw is much denser compared to maxillary bone.

Best medication to take for post-op pain for Wisdom tooth Extraction

Extraction of wisdom teeth from the lower jaw can cause significant post-op pain/discomfort.  Usually, this discomfort should improve every 6 hours.  Taking Ibuprofen 600mg every 4-6 hours for pain is proven to be amongst the best tools for pain management.  Ibuprofen is also an NSAID (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory)  which helps with swelling as well.  Some studies also show combining Acetaminophen 150mg in between taking Ibuprofen works extremely well for pain management.

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