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Wisdom Teeth Swelling – Reduction, Treatment, Surgery, Prevention

Written by Dr.Mary

Wisdom teeth that are impacted cause pain or other dental problems and are normally surgically extracted or removed.

If an individual has any medical conditions that can increase surgical risks, the dentist will normally sent the individual to see an oral surgeon.

If impacted wisdom teeth are not causing any symptoms or apparent dental problems, they are known as asymptomatic. There is discrepancy which does exists in the dental community on how to handle asymptomatic impacted wisdom teeth. Investigation on this topic does not favor any one management therapy over the other.

Wisdom Teeth Swelling Treatment

Both some dentists as well as oral surgeons advise removing asymptomatic wisdom teeth in order to avert any further possible problems. The disagreements for this protective treatment include the following:

  • An asymptomatic tooth can not be free of disease as well as can be a principally susceptible location for tooth cavities as well as gum disease.
  • The procedure rarely if ever causes any serious complications in younger adults.
  • The procedure is much more complicated and more likely to create complications later in life, especially among adults who are older.

There are other oral surgeons and dentists who advocate a much more conservative management approach. They usually counsel that there is not enough data to suggest that impacted wisdom teeth not causing difficulties in young adults will later cause complications. So, these doctors recommend that the risk and cost of the procedure does not rationalize the anticipated benefit.

With the conservative approach, your family dentist will watch your teeth for gum disease, decay as well as other complications. He/she may advocate an extraction if problems arise.

Wisdom Teeth Swelling Complications

Impacted wisdom teeth may cause problems in the mouth:

Damage to other teeth

If the wisdom tooth presses against the 2nd molar, it can damage that molar or make it more susceptible to infection. This pressure may also cause difficulties with crowding of the other teeth or orthodontic therapies used to make straight other teeth.



Wisdom teeth which are partially impacted appear to be more susceptible to tooth decay than other teeth. This problem possibly occurs because wisdom teeth are much harder to clean and because bacteria as well as food are very easy to get trapped between the tooth that is partially erupted and the gum.


The wisdom tooth grows in a sac within the jawbone. This sac can fill with fluid, developing a cyst which can damage the jawbone, nerves as well as teeth. Rarely, a tumor which is normally non-cancerous – develops a problem that can necessitate removal of bone and tissue.

Gum disease

The problems with cleaning impacted, partially erupted wisdom teeth can also make them a very vulnerable area for the development of inflammatory gum condition called pericoronitis which is very painful.

Surgical Extraction

The surgical extraction of a wisdom tooth is nearly always done on an outpatient procedure. This means that the patient will go home the same day. Individuals will have local anesthesia which numbs the mouth or sedation anesthesia that made the individual unaware of the procedure.

During an extraction, the oral surgeon or dentist makes an cut in the gums and removes any bone which obstructs access to the impacted tooth. After the tooth is taken out, the wound is normally stitched closed up and the empty space or socket is packed with gauze.

The patient will be given instructions for caring for the wound after the process as well as for management of swelling and pain.

The majority of extractions of wisdom tooth do not result in any long term problems. Some complications can include:

  • Infection in the socket from trapped food particles or bacteria.
  • Damage to sinuses located near the upper wisdom teeth.
  • Dry socket which is exposure of the bone when the blood clot dislodges from the socket – a complication that can be very painful as well as delay healing.
  • Weakening of the lower jawbone.
  • Damage to nerves which can result in altered sensation in the tongue, chin or lower lip.

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