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wisdom tooth swelling

Wisdom Teeth Swelling and What to do About It

By : on : 24th June 2019 comments:(0)

Sure, they are called “wisdom” teeth but these molars can easily land you in trouble. Found at the back of the mouth, these teeth can represent a number of dental problems. Keep in mind that humans have 12 molars. However, wisdom teeth are the ones with the wide surface at the very end of the mouth. Another interesting thing about wisdom teeth is that they generally appear in adulthood. For most people, wisdom teeth sprout around or after the age of 21. It is unusual for children to grow wisdom teeth.

It is important to understand that you can chew without any difficulty even in the absence of wisdom teeth. In addition to that, the presence or absence of these teeth does not affect dental aesthetics. Therefore, if you are having troubles with your wisdom tooth or teeth, your dentist is likely to recommend extraction.

Keep in mind that while the wisdom teeth extraction often results in swelling, the swelling can appear even before the teeth are extracted! Therefore, if you are growing wisdom teeth or struggling with them, it is important to make sure that you know what to do and how to reduce wisdom teeth swelling.

Reasons behind Wisdom Teeth Swelling

Wisdom teeth swelling can appear for a number of reasons. While extraction is the most obvious reason for swelling associated with wisdom teeth, it is important to understand that swelling may arise even before the tooth is pulled out. Here’s a list of some of the most common reasons why you may experience wisdom teeth swelling.

1.    Bacteria in the Mouth

Wisdom teeth swelling is often caused due to the bacteria in the mouth. Keep in mind that these bacteria have nothing to do with your oral hygiene. This means that you can experience pain and swelling around your wisdom teeth even if you follow a good oral hygiene routine.

2.    Partially sprouted Wisdom Teeth

One of the most common problems associated with wisdom teeth is that, sometimes, as they grow, they sprout only partially out of the gums. This can lead to swelling, pain, and other problems. The culprit here is the excessive space in the mouth. When molars grow partially, they can leave areas in the mouth that are highly susceptible to infections and bacteria growth.

3.    Misaligned Wisdom Teeth

Do you have misaligned wisdom teeth? If you do, you are likely to experience wisdom teeth swelling and other problems at some point in life. This happens because misaligned wisdom teeth can make it hard to floss. Moreover, the food particles stuck in the hard to reach areas around these teeth creates a perfect environment for bacteria growth. Eventually, it leads to swelling, pain, and other problems.

4.    Not Enough Room to Grow

Sometimes, there is not enough space in the mouth for the wisdom teeth to grow properly. As a result, they can grow up slanted. While slanted wisdom teeth themselves don’t cause pain or swelling, they are hard to clean. This makes them susceptible to cavities and infections, which, in turn, can lead to wisdom teeth swelling.

How to Reduce Wisdom Teeth Swelling

Now that you know why you may experience wisdom teeth swelling, let’s take a look at what you can do to reduce it.

Swelling before removal

It is possible to experience wisdom teeth swelling prior to the extraction. In fact, swelling may be one reason why your dentist suggested tooth extraction in the first place. Keep in mind that it can also be quite painful. Therefore, it is important to know what you can do to reduce wisdom teeth swelling prior to tooth extraction. Here’s a list of some helpful tip!

  • A saline solution can help reduce swelling. Therefore, if you are experiencing swelling before removal, it is advisable to rinse your mouth with a warm saline solution. You can easily prepare it at home by dissolving a few tbsp (2 -4) in a glass of water. Use it several times a day to kill bacteria in the mouth and disinfect the gum line.
  • Applying a cold compress to the swelled areas can also produce adequate results. Apply an ice pack to your jaw and hold it in place for 10 – 15 minutes before removing. Repeat after a few minutes.
  • Mix equal part of baking soda with your toothpaste. Apply the concoction directly to the swelled areas. This can help reduce swelling.

Swelling after Removal

Swelling after wisdom teeth removal is quite often. In fact, you can expect one side of the face to swell considerably, giving a puffy look to your face. Here what you can do to reduce post extraction wisdom teeth swelling.

  • Continue rinsing your mouth with saline solution as described above. However, wait at least for 24 – 48 hours before using saline solution after the extraction.
  • Take anti-inflammation or over the counter pill to reduce swelling. You may require it to manage the pain as well.
  • Keep your mouth as clean as possible. This is important because failing to follow good oral hygiene practices encourages the growth of bacteria in the mouth, which is the culprit behind swelling.
  • Apply cold compress as described above to reduce swelling.
  • Refrain from brushing vigorously as it can damage the gums and lead to further swelling.

Follow these tips to reduce wisdom teeth swelling in no time! Remember, it is common to experience swelling before and after wisdom teeth removal. However, symptoms like pain and bleeding should subside once the tooth has been extracted. If that does not happen, it is advisable to contact your dentist and have your wisdom teeth checked out again.


Dr Hassan El Awour


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