An occasional headache is normal for the majority of us. Headaches can be caused by stress and tension, lack of sleep, poor diet and any number of other variables. If they creep into your life on a regular basis, however, the real problem could actually be due to impacted wisdom teeth. Regular visits to your dentist at Fioritto Family Dental are crucial for monitoring the growth of wisdom teeth. If your wisdom teeth show signs of impaction, your dentist can recommend proper treatment before consistent painful headaches become your unfortunate normal.
What does it mean when wisdom teeth are ‘impacted?’
An impacted wisdom tooth remains submerged beneath the gum line. A tooth can also become partially impacted, meaning only part of the crown erupted above the gum’s surface. When impactions occur, one or more of your wisdom teeth will crowd the surrounding teeth. Impactions are common, since most people don’t have room at the back of the mouth for wisdom teeth to develop.
Signs of an impacted wisdom tooth
You might be wondering: how are my headaches caused by impacted wisdom teeth? Pain in one part of the body can actually indicate issues somewhere else. Infection or crowding in your gums creates discomfort that can spread to your jawbone. Tension radiates from your jaw into other parts of your upper body, resulting in headaches and neck pain.
Infection is another sign that wisdom teeth are lurking below the gum line. Due to their location at the back of the mouth, wisdom teeth are prone to infection and may cause painful, swollen gums. Jaw joints can also become inflamed and press against ear muscles. This, along with a tense jaw, leads to headaches.
Address impactions right away!
Impacted wisdom teeth require treatment and should be taken care of sooner rather than later. Painkillers will get rid of the pain, but they’re a temporary solution. Impactions left untreated can spread infection throughout the jawbone without you realizing it!
Wisdom teeth are more difficult to clean because of their hard-to-reach location. This means they’re more likely to attract tooth decay and gum disease. Partial impactions are especially at risk of infection since they provide a way for bacteria to get beneath the gum line. Even if they erupt with zero complications, poor dental hygiene can lead to issues in the future.
Make a wise choice about your wisdom teeth
Since many people experience complications with their wisdom teeth, having them removed is often the best option. Again, it’s very possible for wisdom teeth to grow in without bothering the nearby molars, but even the lucky few are at risk for infection down the road. Wisdom teeth removal is the most effective way to prevent tooth decay, gum disease and overall discomfort.
It’s important to visit Fioritto Family Dental every six months so we can update your dental X-rays. Regular check-ins allow us to closely monitor the growth of wisdom teeth and identify potential concerns before they cause trouble. If you experience symptoms of an impacted wisdom tooth— such as chronic, painful headaches, contact us to schedule an exam at either our Mentor or Concord office!