A broken wisdom tooth should be managed immediately because any breaks on the surface of the tooth will leave you susceptible to infection. If the tooth is badly broken or has caused you problems in the past, it is quite likely that your dentist will recommend you have the wisdom teeth removed.
What Are The Wisdom Teeth?
Your wisdom teeth are the last teeth in your mouth to erupt and in many patients, they can present with problems. When it appears as though your wisdom teeth are going to be problematic (they may partially erupt, be impacted or grow too long), your dentist will recommend removing them as quickly as possible to mitigate the damage they do.
Why A Broken Tooth Requires Urgent Attention?
A broken tooth can allow bacteria to penetrate the tooth, and develop an infection. An untreated infection is likely to spread and put the other structures of your mouth at risk. This means that your other tooth roots, gums and even your jaw bone are at risk of infection if it is not managed.
In some cases, a wisdom tooth might have been easy to break because it was already weakened because of dental decay. This means your risk of infection is already high, and the possibility of infecting your tooth root exists.
What Are The Signs And Symptoms Of An Infection?
In many cases, an infection may be present without any symptoms. In other cases you may experience any combination of the following:
- Swelling, redness and tenderness around the wisdom tooth
- Persistent or throbbing pain
What To Do If You Think You Have Broken A Tooth
If you think you have a broken tooth, call your dentist immediately so he or she can assess the extent of the problem. If you do have an infection it is quite likely your dentist will recommend antibiotics to clean up the infection and to prevent it from spreading.
If you can’t get to your dentist immediately you can rinse your mouth gently with warm salt water, to keep your mouth clean and help with pain management.
If you have had problems with your wisdom teeth in the past, or if your wisdom teeth are partially erupted or impacted, your dentist may advocate that you have them removed.
What Can You Expect From Wisdom Tooth Extraction?
If you do need to have your wisdom tooth removed, the process can take anywhere from 10 minutes to one hour. Wisdom teeth in the lower jaw are typically more difficult to remove than those in the upper jaw and may need to be cut into smaller pieces in some cases. If the wisdom teeth are partially erupted your dentist may need to cut through the gum in order to access them.
Once the wisdom teeth have been removed you will be given some cotton gauze to bite down onto, in order to curb the bleeding, as well as special care instructions to follow. Make sure you follow these instructions very carefully.
If you think you have a broken wisdom tooth it’s essential to immediate dental care. Please call us now: (07) 3185 2387.