Wisdom teeth often develop decay, gum tissue inflammation, or infection which can cause significant pain. This pain may be mild and occasional or it may suddenly escalate within a few hours. Infection can also develop quite rapidly causing facial swelling, difficulty opening the mouth, or drainage.
Dentist’s Tip: If you are experiencing significant pain or swelling with your wisdom teeth, you should seek immediate emergency care by an oral surgeon.
What To Do When You Have Wisdom Tooth Pain?
The goal is to get you out of pain as soon as possible. Whether the wisdom tooth is damaged from deep decay, or has infection around the gum tissue, or is causing facial swelling, the first step is an examination and X-ray evaluation. Call our office immediately for an emergency appointment. We can often arrange an appointment on the same day. The wisdom tooth causing your pain or swelling should be extracted as soon as possible to prevent further complications.
You may take Tylenol or Advil to help you with pain until you can be seen by the oral surgeon.
Painful or infected wisdom teeth should be removed as soon as possible. It is not advised or necessary to take several days of antibiotics before surgery. This can result in more complications. The best approach is early removal and follow-up course of antibiotics.
Anesthesia for Emergency Extractions:
IV sedation is the best and recommended anesthesia option for extraction of painful wisdom teeth. Infection can make local anesthesia less effective and make it difficult to achieve adequate numbness. Therefore, do not eat or drink anything for at least 8 hours before your appointment in the event IV sedation is recommended for extraction. Also, have someone available to drive you home following the procedure.
Get Referral to An Oral Surgeon:
You should see an oral surgeon immediately for evaluation and treatment. We can often schedule an emergency appointment on the same day. If you have seen your dentist and have X-rays available, please bring them along with a referral form.