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Is an Infected Wisdom Tooth an Emergency?

Some people have a higher pain threshold than others. An infected wisdom tooth can cause severe pain, depending on how much bacteria has built up in and around the tooth area. An impacted tooth can also cause the same problem.

There are two situations that may cause intense pain with a wisdom tooth:

1) Impacted Wisdom Tooth: While an impacted tooth won’t be an issue beneath the gum, it can cause intense pain when it emerges above the gum line. There may be a flap of gum tissue that has torn. This flap can swell and become infected. This is of course quite painful. You may feel the pain along the entire side of your face, in your ear, and down your neck.

2) Infected Tooth/Gum Tissue: Pericoronitis or infected gum tissue can be extremely painful. It can also spread if not treated very quickly. 

While the intense pain may cause it to feel like an emergency, it’s probably not a life or death situation, unless the pain has spread and now radiates along the entire jaw area and down onto the neck. 

In either of these situations, think carefully if you are just having pain or if the other extenuating circumstances are at play. If so, seek treatment immediately. If not, make an urgent appointment with a specialist giving them all the details of your condition

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