dental care


Wisdom tooth pain

by Nathan
(Virginia beach)

The eruption of wisdom teeth can be very painful and annoying. A lot of patients experience the so-called pericoronitis, which is a inflammation due to bacterial deposits around the tooth and under the gum that partly covers the partly erupted tooth. A reader has a question concerning wisdom tooth pain:

I was diagnosed 3 days ago with an abscess behind my wisdom tooth. I was prescribed antibiotics/penicillin v (500mg 4x day) and given ibuprofen for the pain. During the first day, the pain would throb simultaneously in my tooth and a small spot on the top of my head, but slightly off center. After day 2, I was feeling much better. Now, I feel the same pain in my tooth and head, but it is for short time spans and a whole lot less severe. Is this caused from the swelling reducing and making the nerves hurt, or does this mean it is worsening? Also, why was there pain in the top of my head? Was this a nerve issue, or did the infection spread to my brain?

Dear Nathan,
Thank you for your question about wisdom tooth pain. Pain caused by troublesome wisdom teeth can have a number of different symptoms and different pain sensations. Since you got antibiotics for this, it is very unlikely that the infection has spread. Headache is not uncommon with inflamed gingiva behind the wisdom teeth. A lot of the pain from erupting wisdom teeth is due to the swelling and also due to the inflammation itself - both causes decreased jaw movements and also pain. Bacterial components can also cause pain or increase the pain.

The most important thing to do with erupting wisdom teeth is to clean the area around the tooth, even if it hurts and bleeds a little! In order to reduce the pain it is important to remove the bacteria. Use a toothbrush with a small brush/tip brush and clean the tooth and the small piece of gum parlty covering the tooth.
In your case, I do not believe the condition is worsening. If you do as the dentist tell you to do, I am sure that you will soon feel better. But if you have severe symptoms or feel that anything is bothering you concerning this tooth; contact your dentist!
Good luck with your wisdom tooth pain!

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