Infected Wisdom Teeth: A Dental Emergency

Click here to schedule a free wisdom teeth consult, including X-rays. Choose the sedation dental office that’s near you:

Lowry Dental Office, (303) 323-8158, near Alameda and Quebec, in Denver

Highlands Ranch Dental Office, (303) 309-0749, near University Blvd and C-470

Colorado Springs Dental Office, (719) 247-2020, near Powers Blvd and Stetson Hills Blvd

Colorado Springs Dental Office, (719) 247-2350, near Powers Blvd and Carefree Circle

Infected wisdom teeth are one of the most common dental emergencies. Thanks to evolution and our softer diets, people’s mouths are smaller today. As a result, few people have enough room in their mouths to accommodate the third molars, at the back of the mouth, which are commonly known as wisdom teeth.

Wisdom teeth are the last adult teeth to emerge, usually appearing when people are in their late teens or even their early twenties.

For the majority of people, wisdom teeth won’t come in normally. Instead, the wisdom teeth erupt through the gums at an odd angle, only partially emerge, or remain impacted.

When a wisdom tooth breaks through the gum, without adequate room, it often creates a slit, or flap of tissue. When food gets trapped in the flap, this often leads to an infection.

Signs and symptoms of infection from wisdom teeth can include the following:
• pain in the tissue and area around the wisdom tooth (pain is a warning sign)
• a foul smell or taste in your mouth
• swollen lymph nodes
• ear infection
• sinus infection
• fever or chills

For a wisdom tooth dental emergency, we will generally prescribe antibiotics, to clear up the infection. And then, in most cases, we’ll extract the tooth (as well as your other wisdom teeth).

For wisdom teeth extractions, we offer three forms of sedation: nitrous oxide, oral sedation (conscious sedation), and IV sedation.

Dental insurance will sometimes cover sedation for your wisdom teeth surgery.

The best case scenario would be that you avoid getting an infection from a wisdom tooth, by having your wisdom teeth extracted before they try to emerge.

During a free consultation (which includes X-rays), we can take a look at your wisdom teeth, assess how and when they may try to grow in, and make recommendations for what you should do.