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Wisdom Tooth

Overview

The wisdom tooth is the last molar tooth to appear in the mouth during late teens or early twenties. It often becomes impacted when there is not enough jaw space for the tooth to come out of the gums.


Clinical photo inside the mouth showing the impacted wisdom tooth

What are the complications of impacted wisdom tooth?

Impacted wisdom tooth may cause:

  • pain
  • infection
  • swelling
  • gum disease
  • bad breath
  • decay to adjacent tooth
  • limited mouth opening

When should you consult a dentist?

Consult your dentist if you have the following conditions:

  • Swelling of the gums around the tooth
  • Facial swelling
  • Difficulty in swallowing
  • Limited mouth opening
  • Fever

What can you do to relieve pain?

Seek treatment as soon as possible.

You may try the following remedies to relieve your pain:

  • take a painkiller
  • rinse regularly with warm salt water
  • floss gently to remove anything in between your teeth
  • numb your gums e.g. by sucking on ice

Professional treatment

The following treatment may be given:

  • The tooth and surrounding gums are cleaned and irrigated with normal saline.
  • Antibiotics may be prescribed if there is any sign of infection.
    • If the tooth is not impacted;
    • the overlying gums may need to be incised
    • If the tooth is impacted and the problems recur: – the tooth may need to be surgically removed
    • X-rays may be taken to see the position of the tooth.
Last reviewed : 20 April 2012
Writer : Dr. Chew Yoke Yuen
    Dr. Norrizan bt. Basir
    Dr. Doreyat b. Jemun
    Dr. Che Noor Aini bt. Che Omar
Reviewer : Dr. Marzuki b. Zainal Abidin

 

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