If your wisdom teeth erupted without giving you any grief, then you may have breathed a sigh of relief. It's common to have problems when these final teeth come through. However, sometimes wisdom teeth come through normally only to develop problems later.
For example, you may have noticed that the gum around one of your wisdom teeth is swollen and sore. Why is the gum suddenly painful and what can you do about it?
Gum Overgrowth and Wisdom Teeth
Wisdom teeth don't have a lot of space to play with. They're stuck right at the back of your teeth. Sometimes, a wisdom tooth will erupt without a problem, but it won't push up far enough to break through all of its covering gum. The gum doesn't recede down to the sides of the tooth as it normally does. It stays on the top of the tooth where it creates a flap over the tooth.
If this happens, the flap is virtually impossible to clean. If you get food or bacteria stuck under this piece of gum, then it can get infected. This makes your gum swollen and sore; in some cases, you may end up with a full-blown gum infection or tooth decay.
Gum Overgrowth Treatment
If you are having problems with the gum on a wisdom tooth, then your dentist will firstly clean up the area to get rid of any gunk inside. If you have an infection, your dentist may also give you antibiotics to clear it up.
This deals with your immediate problem; however, it doesn't guarantee that it won't happen again. So, your dentist may then move on to cut away the gum from the top of the tooth. If you remove the flap, you shouldn't have this problem again.
However, this doesn't always work. In some cases, the gum your dentist cuts away will grow back, and you'll be back to square one. Plus, the tooth itself may have been damaged. If your dentist thinks that you'll have ongoing problems, then they may recommend that they remove the tooth.
If the gum around a wisdom tooth is giving you problems, then see your dentist as soon as you can. It's important to prevent gum infections if you can or, at the very least, to treat them so they don't get worse and spread to other teeth or areas of your gums.
Your dentist will assess the gum growth and the tooth and recommend the most suitable treatment. If there is any future risk to the tooth or gum, then wisdom teeth removal may be your best option. Contact a dentist near you, such as Carousel Dental, for more information.