Most people have four wisdom teeth, two in the upper jaw and two in the lower jaw. These teeth often become ‘impacted’, which is where the tooth doesn’t grow through the gum properly (or only grows part way through) and sits in an abnormal position. This is unhealthy and the tooth should be removed to prevent problems with erosion, cysts, infection or crowding.
Symptoms of wisdom tooth infection include:
- Red, inflamed gums alongside the wisdom tooth
- Pus at the gum line
- Difficulties with opening your mouth and swallowing
It’s best to have problematic wisdom teeth removed. Many people worry about the pain of having a wisdom tooth extracted, but you generally won’t feel pain during the procedure. Your dentist will discuss your options for pain relief, which vary between a simple local anaesthetic (the medicine that makes your mouth numb), through to sedation. Your dentist will also prescribe pain relief to help with any discomfort after the procedure.