up close image of bacteriaIt’s not uncommon for incoming wisdom teeth to cause pain and discomfort. Many people don’t have enough room for their third molars. As a result, they become impacted, which is one reason that wisdom tooth extraction is such a common procedure. But wisdom tooth infection can cause even more severe pain, and it can even threaten your overall health.

At Texas Oral Surgery Specialists, Dr. Chris Tye offers expert treatment for all manner of wisdom tooth complications. Our Colleyville, TX, office is equipped with ultramodern three-dimensional imaging, so Dr. Tye can determine the exact position of your wisdom teeth. Then he can perform a highly precise, personalized procedure with reduced discomfort and recovery time. 

It is vital that you do not let a wisdom tooth infection go untreated. Contact us to schedule your consultation. 

What are wisdom teeth?

Wisdom teeth are third molars that usually erupt during the late teens or early 20’s. Anthropologists speculate that our prehistoric ancestors had need of these teeth. However, as the human diet changed over millennia, our jaws shrank. As a result, many of us do not have enough room in our mouths for wisdom teeth. 

What is an impacted wisdom tooth?

Wisdom tooth impaction is a widespread problem, affecting nearly a quarter of the US population. Impaction occurs when a tooth doesn’t fully break through the gums. Instead, it remains stuck beneath the soft tissue or beneath the jawbone. The trapped tooth may cause significant discomfort. It can also push on the other teeth, eventually causing widespread misalignment. 

Treatment for Impacted Teeth

Extraction is the only available treatment for a problematic impacted wisdom tooth. Your oral surgeon will remove the soft or hard tissue that is preventing the tooth from coming in. You will receive anesthesia prior to the procedure. And when you choose an experienced surgeon like Dr. Tye, you will experience minimal discomfort after your extraction, as well.

What is a wisdom tooth infection?

A wisdom tooth infection usually results from an impacted tooth, though not all impacted teeth become infected. Food and bacteria can accumulate beneath the flap of gum tissue, causing an infection, also known as pericoronitis. 

A wisdom tooth infection can cause numerous symptoms, including:

  • Pronounced pain and inflammation in the affected area
  • Fever
  • Pain with swallowing 
  • Facial swelling 
  • Bad breath

If a wisdom tooth infection is left untreated, you could develop an abscess, or pocket of pus. From there, bacteria can spread to other parts of your mouth or even throughout your body.

Treating Infected Wisdom Teeth 

In mild cases of pericoronitis, your dentist may simply clean the area and prescribe an antibiotic to clear up the infection.

More often, however, surgery is required. Your doctor will need to remove the flap of gum that is trapping bacteria. Even then, your wisdom tooth may continue to cause problems, especially if there is not enough room for it to emerge all the way. In these cases, you will require an extraction, as described above. 

Contact Texas Oral Surgery Specialists Today

If you are experiencing pain or problems with your wisdom teeth, contact our office online or call 817-552-3223.

Dr. Tye proudly serves patients from across the Fort Worth area, including those from Colleyville, Grapevine, Southlake, and Bedford.