What is an Abscessed Wisdom Tooth?

Tooth PainAn oral surgeon typically extracts third molars (also known as wisdom teeth) because they present a variety of oral health problems. This is because they erupt the gums much later in life than other permanent teeth. Wisdom teeth removal is often necessary because these teeth come in sideways, crowd other teeth, or become infected (aka an abscessed wisdom tooth). Our oral surgeons offer gentle wisdom teeth removal.

Are Wisdom Teeth Necessary to Oral Function?

No. Wisdom teeth are not necessary for efficient and comfortable oral function. In fact, when wisdom teeth erupt the gum line, they normally impair oral function by affecting the placement of other teeth. Wisdom teeth also cause discomfort in the form of jaw pain and headaches for many of our patients.

Complications of an Abscessed Wisdom Tooth

One common complication associated with the eruption of wisdom teeth is the development of an abscessed wisdom tooth. An abscess in the oral cavity is normally caused by severe, untreated tooth decay. A painful infection, abscesses in wisdom teeth may develop on the roots or in between other teeth. This often occurs because wisdom teeth become impacted into the gums and are very difficult to clean because of their location.

Will a Wisdom Tooth Abscess Go Away on Its Own?

Abscesses do not resolve on their own. They must be treated by a dental professional. However, patients can reduce their chances of developing an abscess by pursuing wisdom teeth removal before any symptoms develop. Usually an oral examination and X-rays reveal whether wisdom teeth are present or if they will require extraction.

Patients who are considering preventive wisdom teeth removal should consult with an oral surgeon to develop a treatment plan and ultimately undergo the procedure. This specialist’s expertise is necessary because wisdom teeth removal typically requires the removal of surrounding bone to access and extract the impacted wisdom teeth. The removal of wisdom teeth usually cannot be accomplished by a simple extraction.

In most cases, the oral surgeon can extract a patient’s wisdom teeth within a matter of hours in an outpatient setting. Some sort of sedation is generally used, so the patient may need to arrange for a responsible adult to escort them home and to stay with them until the sedative’s effects are fully reversed.

To schedule an appointment with our friendly, experienced oral surgery team at Oral Surgery Associates of North Texas, contact any of our four convenient locations today.