With age comes wisdom! More specifically, your wisdom teeth. Wisdom teeth or third molars derive their name from the fact that they’re normally the last ones to come through, at a rather mature age. Some people don’t get wisdom teeth at all.
When wisdom teeth don’t fully originate from the gums, it’s referred to as an impacted wisdom teeth. An impacted wisdom teeth that are partly sunken beneath your gums may lead to infection due to bacterial overgrowth, and eventually bad breath. This condition can be cured for some time through antibiotics or by cleaning and treating the gums surrounding the wisdom teeth using hydrogen peroxide.
Symptoms of Impacted Wisdom Teeth
Generally, wisdom teeth do not cause any symptoms. However, as they grow and cause problems, such as teeth infection, damage to other teeth, or any other dental problem, you may experience these symptoms:
- A gradual increasing of pain at the back of the mouth
- Red, tender, and swollen gum tissues around the site (signs of infection)
- Foul breath, and bad taste upon chewing food
- Difficulty opening your mouth or chewing food
You may finally need to get your wisdom teeth extracted to avoid future problems. Because if not removed, they can eventually lead to decay, loss of bone, and bone or gum infection in the surrounding areas.
Wisdom Teeth and Bad Breath – FAQ’s
- Why Are My Wisdom Teeth Full of Bacteria?
Your impacted or misaligned wisdom teeth are hard to clean and are a shelter for stuck food particles and bacteria. Because bacteria grow in the warm and damp mouth environment, your impacted wisdom tooth can be the reason for inducing severe infections, decay, and cysts. This can give rise to extremely bad breath or a constant bad taste in the mouth.
- Do Wisdom Teeth Give You Bad Breath?
An existing wisdom tooth partly submerged beneath the gums might be responsible for bacterial profusion and therefore, bad breath because of the tiny pocket of air present between the tooth tip and the gum. The gums surrounding the impacted wisdom tooth are delicate and are prone to get infected easily, and the wound-infecting bacteria release foul-smelling sulfur compounds.
- Can a Wisdom Tooth Infection Go Away on its Own?
Never expect that an infection will subside on its own. An indication of a wisdom tooth or any other tooth or gum infection involves pain or swelling, an awful taste in your mouth, perpetual bad breath, inflammation, or bleeding. A dental visit can confirm if your wisdom tooth infection requires treatment.
- How to Treat Impacted Wisdom Teeth
Impacted wisdom teeth can potentially lead to problems, like infections, and need to be extracted. Extractions can vary from a single tooth to multiple wisdom teeth removals simultaneously. Based on the choice, a dentist or oral surgeon will perform your wisdom tooth extraction in an in-office procedure under a local anesthesia.
- How to Treat Bad Breath Due to Wisdom Teeth Extraction
Many dentists and oral surgeons will most likely recommend removing your wisdom teeth before they turn problematic for your oral health. But wisdom teeth removal does not easily stop your bad breath. At the time of your wisdom teeth extraction, a blood clot is created in the empty socket and upon its removal, it leads to a situation called dry socket. Bacteria can get in there and into the open wound, leading to an infection and chances of bad breath, too.
Other Causes of Bad Breath
Apart from wisdom teeth, other factors like bad food, health conditions, and some other habits may cause bad breath in general conditions. Some of them are:
- The byproducts of food such as onion, garlic, and spices enter the bloodstream during digestion and are carried to the lungs, causing bad breath
- Poor dental hygiene resulting in the formation of plaque between your teeth and gums
- Decreased formation of saliva, that helps in cleansing the mouth by removing particles that cause bad breath
- Fasting also slows down the production of saliva resulting in dry mouth and bad breath
- Cigarette smoking and consuming tobacco stain the teeth and cause bad breath
- Various infections of the mouth, or the presence of gum disease are other prominent reasons for bad breath
Dental Problems Caused by Wisdom Teeth
Impacted wisdom teeth and bad breath can cause many complications such as:
- Damage to the neighboring teeth, and the risk of infection in the surrounding areas
- Risk of developing a painful, inflammatory gum condition called pericoronitis due to the cleaning difficulty with the partially erupted wisdom teeth
- Formation of a cyst in the wisdom teeth sac within the jawbone, resulting in the damage of the jawbone itself, and the teeth and nerves
- Extensive tooth decay caused by trapped food particles and difficulty in cleaning those hard-to-reach areas
Your dentist may use antibiotics and medicated creams for cleaning the socket that also helps in its healing process. Though the pain should subside with care, the dry socket may require several weeks to heal. Bad breath is somewhat persistent for some days after the removal of wisdom teeth, but if it continues further, you need to consult your dentist.
Dr. Steffany Mohan is the Owner of Plaza Dental Group and is a leading dentist in Des Moines, Iowa. Dr. Mohan is an expert in implant, family and cosmetic dentistry, is Invisalign certified and has gained a reputation of excellence in the dentistry community. Plaza Dental Group has built a reputation for excellence and its close doctor-patient relationships, which has made them one of the premier offices of Iowa dentists