Cavity on Wisdom Tooth: Causes, Symptoms and Treatment

The last adult teeth to come in are wisdom teeth. These teeth are very likely to get cavities. A wisdom tooth cavity can be painful. It can make your cheek swell, and chewing hard food might hurt. You could even get a fever. Wisdom teeth are at the back, so they're tough to clean. This makes them more prone to decay. If a wisdom tooth does not come out right or comes in at an angle, it can cause cavities. These hard-to-reach spots are perfect for bacteria. Dealing with a cavity in a wisdom tooth means getting it cleaned well by a dentist. You might also get an antiseptic mouthwash and antibiotics. In some cases, the tooth may need to be removed. This prevents the cavity from getting worse and harming your gums and bone. It's crucial to know the signs of a wisdom tooth cavity and get help fast.

What is a Wisdom Tooth?

Wisdom teeth are the last set of adult teeth to show up. They usually come in between 17 and 26 years old. Most people get four wisdom teeth - two on top and two on the bottom.

But, there often isn't enough space in the mouth for them. This can cause problems as they try to squeeze in with the rest of your teeth.

One big problem is when a wisdom tooth is stuck and can't come out right. This is called an impacted tooth. It can be painful and harm the other teeth.

Dentists might advise taking out these wisdom teeth early. Doing this can prevent bigger dental problems later.

Not everyone has trouble with their wisdom teeth. But, it's good to see your dentist a lot. They can check on your teeth and make sure everything's okay.

Causes of Cavities on Wisdom Teeth

Wisdom tooth impaction leads to cavities on hard-to-reach teeth. If a wisdom tooth doesn't fully come out or grows sideways, it makes spaces. Food bits and plaque then gather easily, starting cavities. It's hard to clean these spots well, raising your chance of getting cavities.

Pericoronitis is another issue around wisdom teeth that partly come out. This can happen to about 81% of people aged 20 to 29. It lets bacteria grow and leads to cavities. Swollen and sore gums can make cleaning hard. This makes the risk of cavities even higher.

Even if wisdom teeth come in right, they are still at the back of your mouth. It's tough to clean back there, which lets plaque and germs grow. These harmful things can slowly damage your teeth, causing cavities.

So, wisdom tooth impaction, pericoronitis, and cleaning problems are the top reasons for cavities on wisdom teeth. Seeing your dentist often and taking good care of your teeth at home are very important. This helps stop cavities early on. It keeps your wisdom teeth and mouth healthy.

Symptoms of a Cavity on a Wisdom Tooth

A cavity on a wisdom tooth can lead to many troubles. It may cause constant or off-and-on pain in the tooth area. This hurt can be very strong. Also, your jaw or the side of your face might ache near the troubling tooth.

Wisdom tooth cavities often go unnoticed in the early stages because of their location. However, there are some telltale signs to watch out for:

  • Pain: A persistent toothache, especially when chewing or biting down, could indicate a cavity.
  • Sensitivity: Pain or discomfort when consuming hot, cold, or sweet foods and beverages can be a sign of decay.
  • Swelling: Inflammation and puffiness around the gumline near the wisdom tooth might signal an infection caused by a cavity.
  • Difficulty Chewing: Pain or discomfort when chewing on the side where your wisdom tooth is located could be a symptom.

Look out for puffy gums around your wisdom tooth. They might be red, sore, and soft. Swollen gums can make it hard to clean that area, which makes things worse. Having a weird smell in your breath is another sign. A cavity can make your breath stinky because of bacteria.

Eating might get harder with a cavity in your wisdom tooth. This leads to pain when you chew. You might start avoiding food on that side. Doing this can mess up your teeth or even give you head or jaw pain.

Sometimes, it's hard to open your mouth wide with a wisdom tooth cavity. This may happen because the tooth's area is swollen, sore, or due to the tooth's position. Other signs might include swollen lymph glands and a fever, showing you may have an infection.

If you see yellow or white stuff from where a wisdom tooth was removed, that's bad. It might mean there's an infection. Call your dentist if you have these troubles. Quick care can stop the cavity from doing more harm.

Risks of Untreated Cavities on Wisdom Teeth

Leaving a cavity on a wisdom tooth alone can cause many problems. These problems might really hurt your mouth. The decay can get worse. It might then harm the roots and maybe hurt your jawbone. This trouble can make you feel bad and might need big steps to fix.

Cavities in wisdom teeth can also make gum disease more likely. It's hard to clean these teeth in the back of your mouth. This lets germs grow and make your gums red and sore. Sometimes, you might get cysts near the bad tooth. This can make you feel worse and may harm other parts of your mouth.

But the worst part is when a big infection happens and spreads. Germs from a wisdom tooth cavity can get into your blood and cause sepsis. This is very bad and needs help right away to save your life.

To stop these issues, it's key to handle any decay or gum issues in your wisdom teeth fast. Seeing your dentist often and keeping your teeth clean can catch cavities early. This can stop painful treatments later on. If your mouth feels bad or looks swollen, see a dentist as soon as you can. Getting help early can keep you healthy.

Diagnosing a Cavity on a Wisdom Tooth

I think I have a cavity on my wisdom tooth, so I set up a dentist visit. The dentist checks the tooth and gums for decay, redness, or swelling. This helps see if there's a cavity and how bad it is.

My dentist might also take x-rays of my tooth. X-rays show how bad the decay is and if the tooth's roots or jawbone are hurt. Finding these problems early can stop more pain and issues later on.

Getting regular check-ups helps keep my wisdom teeth healthy. This way, the dentist can find and fix cavities early. Early care and finding tooth decay fast can help me avoid pain and save money later.

Treatment Options for a Cavity on a Wisdom Tooth

When dealing with a cavity on a wisdom tooth, the way forward changes. It depends on how bad the decay is and if there's any infection. First off, my dentist will clean the tooth and its gum area very well. This cleaning gets rid of debris and harmful bacteria linked to the cavity.

The best course of treatment for a wisdom tooth cavity depends on several factors, including the severity of the cavity, the position of the tooth, and your overall dental health. Here are some possibilities:

  • Filling: For small cavities, a filling may be sufficient to restore the tooth.
  • Root Canal: If the cavity is deep and reaches the pulp (the inner part of the tooth containing nerves and blood vessels), a root canal may be necessary.
  • Extraction: In many cases, especially if the wisdom tooth is impacted or causing problems with other teeth, extraction is the recommended course of action. Studies have shown that wisdom teeth are more likely to develop cavities and gum disease compared to other molars [1]. Additionally, removing problematic wisdom teeth can help prevent future orthodontic issues [2].

My dentist might also suggest using special mouthwash. This mouthwash fights bad bacteria and lowers swelling. I feel better when I use it like the dentist says. It helps with any pain or trouble caused by the cavity.

If the infection is bad, my dentist can order antibiotics. These medicines fight the infection inside me. It's key to finish all the antibiotics, even if I start feeling better. This way, the infection goes away fully.

Often, taking out the wisdom tooth with a cavity is the best move. This is especially if the cavity is wide or the tooth is hard to clean. Removing the wisdom tooth stops more harm to it and its nearby tissues. Even though taking out a tooth sounds scary, I believe my dentist knows what's best for my teeth.

Staying close with my dentist and doing what they say about fixing the cavity is wise. This can solve the problem quickly and stop worse things from happening. I learn that getting professional help keeps my smile looking and feeling good.

Complications of Cavities on Wisdom Teeth

Not taking care of cavities on wisdom teeth can cause big problems. It can hurt your mouth and overall health.

A bad effect is when a dental cyst grows near a sick tooth. This cyst can hurt nearby teeth and make your jaw weak. Sometimes, it needs surgery to stop harm.

If cavities on wisdom teeth are ignored, infections may start. Bacteria can move to gums, jaw, and even the throat. In some cases, the infection can be in the blood, causing a big problem called sepsis. This issue needs fast doctor help to avoid danger.

Pericoronitis is when your gum around a wisdom tooth gets sore. It leads to lots of trips to the emergency dentist each year. The pain and trouble it causes can be very bad. So, it's key to see your dentist often and deal with cavities early.

Doing all you can to keep your teeth clean helps a lot. Visiting your dentist regularly is important too. They can stop wisdom tooth cavities from becoming serious. This keeps your mouth and body healthy for a long time.

Cavity on Wisdom Tooth: When to See a Dentist

Feeling pain in your wisdom tooth for more than a few days is a sign to see your dentist. You may have a cavity or infection if you also see swollen gums, find it hard to chew or open your mouth, or have a fever. Waiting until it hurts more or you see much swelling might make you need emergency dental help.

Going for regular dental check-ups is key. Your dentist checks for wisdom tooth problems early on. They might do x-rays to see the cavity better. This helps you avoid big procedures and keeps your mouth healthy.

It's better to be safe if you're not sure about your tooth pain. Even if it doesn't seem so bad, let a dentist check it. A small cavity can turn into a bad infection fast. Getting help early stops the infection and keeps your smile pain-free.

Preventing Cavities on Wisdom Teeth

It's important to protect your wisdom teeth from cavities to keep your mouth healthy. Start by brushing your teeth twice every day with fluoride toothpaste. Fluoride makes your teeth stronger and stops cavities.

  • Maintain good oral hygiene: Brush your teeth twice a day for two minutes each time, and floss daily to remove plaque and food particles from around your wisdom teeth, even if they haven't fully erupted.
  • Use a fluoride toothpaste: Fluoride strengthens tooth enamel and helps prevent decay.
  • Schedule regular dental checkups: Your dentist can monitor the development of your wisdom teeth and identify any cavities early on.
  • Also, floss your teeth every day. Focus on the spots around your wisdom teeth that are hard to reach. This helps take out plaque and food that stick in your teeth and gums.

    Using mouthwash that kills bacteria is helpful too. This lowers the chances of cavities on your wisdom teeth.

    Seeing your dentist regularly is a big part of keeping your wisdom teeth cavities-free. They can spot problems early and clean your teeth well. They might also put dental sealants on your wisdom teeth. These sealants keep out harmful bacteria and food.

    Keep up with your daily oral care and check-ups to avoid cavities on your wisdom teeth. Remember, taking care of your teeth every day is the best way to keep them healthy.

    Wisdom Tooth Extraction for Cavity Prevention

    Your dentist might tell you to remove your wisdom teeth before they cause problems. This often happens when there is not enough space in your mouth. Getting them out early can help prevent cavities and gum disease.

    It's important for the dentist to check how your wisdom teeth are growing. If they think they will cause issues, they might advise removal. Doing this can keep you from having pain and other problems later on.

    An oral surgeon will likely do the extraction. They specialize in these procedures. The surgery can be done with you fully asleep or just numbed. Your choice and comfort are what matter most.

    Even though the idea of surgery can be scary, this procedure is common and safe. It protects your teeth and gums. If you're worried about your wisdom teeth, talk to your dentist. They can help you decide the best approach for your situation.


    Getting cavities on your wisdom teeth can be really painful. They are at the back of your mouth and hard to clean well. You might feel pain, swelling, or have trouble chewing if you have a cavity. Also, you might get a fever because of it. There are different ways to treat a cavity, depending on how bad it is. It might just need a good clean or you might need to have the tooth taken out.

    To stop wisdom tooth cavities, you need to take care of your teeth. Brush your teeth twice a day with toothpaste that has fluoride. Also, use dental floss and rinse with a mouthwash that kills germs. It's very important to see your dentist regularly. They can find and treat any problems early.

    If your wisdom teeth hurt or if they are swollen, see your dentist right away. Starting treatment early can stop things from getting worse. It might even keep you from needing big treatments later on. Taking good care of your teeth and getting help when you need it can keep your mouth healthy. This way, you can avoid the pain and trouble that comes with wisdom tooth cavities.

    Wisdom tooth cavities are a real concern, but with proper care and awareness, you can minimize the risk. By practicing good oral hygiene, scheduling regular dental visits, and being mindful of the symptoms of a cavity, you can keep your wisdom teeth (or the space they leave behind) healthy.


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