When your jaw hurts, every moment can feel miserable. Basic functions, such as eating and speaking become incredibly difficult. You can’t even open your mouth without wincing in pain.
The location of your jaw pain can often point to the cause, and if the pain is in the back of your jaw, it might just be your wisdom teeth.
WHAT ARE WISDOM TEETH?
Your wisdom teeth are your third molars, and are the last teeth to erupt, often coming in in your late teens or early twenties. For some people, wisdom teeth cause nothing more than just minor discomfort when the teeth initially emerge. Once they are in, everything goes back to normal. For many others, however, these teeth cause significant issues.
PROBLEMS WITH WISDOM TEETH
There are a few different reasons your wisdom teeth might be causing you problems:
• Partial eruption. If your wisdom teeth only partially erupt, you are at an increased risk for foods and bacteria becoming stuck. This area is particularly difficult to keep clean, and the bacteria then multiply and cause a localized infection known as pericornitis.
• Overcrowding. If there isn’t enough room for your wisdom teeth to grow, yet they still attempt to grow, pressure is exerted on the rest of your teeth. This can cause teeth to shift out of position and throw off your bite.
• Impacted teeth. In some instances, your wisdom teeth may become impacted and grow into adjacent teeth. When this happens, your adjacent teeth can become damaged, and your teeth can be forced out of alignment.
DIAGNOSING WISDOM TEETH ISSUES
In order for wisdom teeth issues to be diagnosed, you will need to schedule an appointment with your dentist. He will perform a complete oral exam and take some X-rays, which will show what is happening in the back of your mouth and under your gums. If, indeed, your pain is due to your wisdom teeth, your dentist may suggest extraction.
Pain in your jaw should not be ignored. Contact our office to schedule an appointment will help to determine the cause and then develop a treatment plan that will help you to get back your life.