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Query re wisdom tooth that's partially through

(30 Posts)
Oldisthenewblack Sat 13-Jun-15 17:36:46

I have a wisdom tooth on the bottom left side that hasn't completely come through. It's been partially through for over ten years. Never caused me any problems, pain etc, but over the past year or so it, or the gum around it bleeds every time I brush my teeth. In fact, it bleeds even if I just touch it. There's also a horrid odour from that area.

The last time I went to the dentist, I was told it needed a filling, which she did, but beyond that she didn't seem to be concerned. I mentioned the odour, but she simply said to keep it clean. Well, I do, I pay loads of attention to cleaning there, flossing as best I can, but the odour NEVER goes away. I'm pretty sure there must be bacteria gathering there that's impossible for me to get rid of. I use mouthwash too.

I've heard that if wisdom tooth is partially through like this, a dentist can cut the gum to allow it to come through completely - has anyone heard of this or had it done? I'm thinking that maybe bacteria is gathering under the gum and I just can't get to it.

Does anyone have any suggestions?

NoArmaniNoPunani Sat 13-Jun-15 17:45:46

Firstly see a hygienist, the smell is probably anaerobic bacteria under the gum. A clean out with the ultrasonic should do the trick. You can have a bit of minor surgery to remove the operculum if the first option doesn't help.

Oldisthenewblack Sat 13-Jun-15 20:10:39

Thanks, will definitely be making an appointment soon as it's driving me mad. Horrible to think of all that bacteria simmering away back there... Thanks for your input!

MyBalletShoes Sat 13-Jun-15 20:20:25

I had the gum cut around my wisdom tooth after lots of pain. I could feel the gum that was partially covering the tooth was a little loose and food kept getting underneath it and causing irritation. I was lucky nothing really got lodged into it and started rotting apparently. Eurgh!

The gum was cut in a regular appointment there and then. Could eat and drink a couple of hours after. Had to go back a few months later to have a bit more taken off but no problems since! All the best for you - wisdom teeth can be a real pain.

Allalonenow Sat 13-Jun-15 20:30:09

In the meantime hot salty mouthwash or Corsodyl mouthwash squished around the area might help.

NoArmaniNoPunani Sat 13-Jun-15 21:01:03

Corsodyl mouthwash is the work of the devil. The stain it leaves attracts more bacteria worsening your problem. Don't use it.

Joneseygirl77 Sun 14-Jun-15 07:36:18

I'd second hot salty mouth rinse- as hot as you can cope with it and hold it over the infected area in your mouth and then spit out. I'd also consider having the tooth removed as if it is bacteria then that could also be affecting the next tooth which could cause problems further down the line. I had a partially erupted wisdom tooth out as kept getting bacteria infections and I'm so glad I did.

038THETA Sun 14-Jun-15 07:54:43

I had a very similar thing with a wisdom tooth and a kind of rotten smell with occasional bleeding.
I got a waterpik, the first time I used on that area some grey particles were washed away and the odor went, I use it once a day and my gums in general are much healthier.
Mouthwash, flossing, electric toothbrush didn't solve the problem, I strongly recommend the waterpik, it gets rid of bits of food that other methods can't ‎

rabbitstew Sun 14-Jun-15 11:03:45

I had my wisdom teeth removed because of problems with gum flaps, partial eruption and impaction. It's so nice to have removed the problem altogether, and at least I know I've avoided my dm's problem - she now needs her impacted wisdom tooth removed, but the dentist is too scared to do it, because she has been treated for osteoporosis for years and, apparently, this increases the risk of osteonecrosis of the jaw if you have a dental extraction. Root canal treatment has failed to resolve the ongoing infection and she now appears to have been left on permanent antibiotics whilst the problem is otherwise ignored (and the antibiotics fail to clear the infection...). I'm not entirely sure why pointless teeth are left in the mouth like that, to be honest - it seems to me entirely predictable that as someone gets older and their immune system naturally weaker, that an impacted, pointless tooth under a gum flap is going to cause problems and that treating this at an older age rather than a younger age is going to be more problematic, without even adding osteoporosis treatment into the equation.
Any dentists out there who could explain why pointless teeth like this are left in rather than being taken out? Doesn't it just inevitably cause greater problems further down the line when the patient is less able to recover quickly from dental surgery (it's not as if osteoporosis is a rare condition in women...)??? Or was my dm just unlucky????

Oldisthenewblack Sun 14-Jun-15 13:13:01

038THETA: Thanks for that, I've been looking at waterpiks as thought they may help. Would you mind me asking which one you use? There seem to be quite a few to choose from so any recommendations would be good! I like the idea of blasting away stubborn particles of debris....

NoArmaniNoPunani Sun 14-Jun-15 13:14:53

If you can stretch to a Phillips airflosser they are even better. (I'm a dentist, have both the waterpik and the airflosser)

038THETA Sun 14-Jun-15 15:08:30

Oldis, I have this one

bought the phillips airflosser first but personally prefer the waterpik and the airflosser didnt help with the wisdom tooth problem in my case.

Ime the waterpik, rinses rather than blasts away debris...suspect 'blasting' may be overly harsh on the gums?

038THETA Sun 14-Jun-15 15:12:24

that sounds very unpleasant for your Mum Rabbit sad

Oldisthenewblack Sun 14-Jun-15 15:13:40

Just realised I'll need a cordless flosser/waterpik, as no shaver socket in the bathroom, so that kind of reduces my options somewhat. I don't fancy doing the dental hygiene thing by the kitchen sink! Have to think about this.

Thanks for all your responses, will be buying something this week as I'm desperate to get rid of that odour. Makes me so self conscious, though everyone reassures me that my breath is fine.

NoArmaniNoPunani Sun 14-Jun-15 15:27:55

Both the ones I have are cordless so it is possible. I still think a hygienist appointment will be the best and quickest way to sort it out.

Oldisthenewblack Sun 14-Jun-15 15:45:34

Definitely making appointment with hygienisnt. Quite looking forward to it. I really should get out more....

Oldisthenewblack Sun 14-Jun-15 15:46:23

A hygienist, even....

I should get out more AND learn to spell.

TeacupDrama Sun 14-Jun-15 16:00:40

Dentist here, cutting the gum over the wisdom tooth ( operculum) has limited success as mostly grows back,
We are generally reluctant to recommend removal of impacted wisdom teeth if not causing too many problems because of the risk of nerve damage to the main nerve inside the lower jaw which is often very close to, or occasionally intertwined with roots of lower wisdom tooth, this is the nerve that makes the side of your mouth and lip numb, only an xreay can determine the position of the nerve ( inferior dental)
Referral to oral surgeon maybe necessary.

I would not rush into getting the tooth removed

Long term use of corsodyl is not fRecommended for long term use 6 weeks at most for an acute flare up of gingivitis, it does stain plaque brown so must use after brushing not before.

There is a new version for daily use

rabbitstew Sun 14-Jun-15 16:44:00

Yes, I had xrays before all my wisdom tooth removals, and was referred to an oral surgeon. No nerve damage, and the nerve was not interwined with the roots of my lower wisdom teeth.
TeacupDrama - what would you advise for my dm? Should she take the slight risk of osteonecrosis and have the wisdom tooth extracted, given that 2 attempts at root canal treatment have failed (too many roots coming off the tooth or something...), or continue to take antibiotics in the long term even though they don't appear to be clearing the pool of infection, or take the risk of the infection giving her osteonecrosis or further problems, anyway??? Is removal of the tooth probably her only option? And how well do people in their 70s recover from wisdom tooth extractions?

TeacupDrama Sun 14-Jun-15 17:01:44


it is very difficult only an oral surgeon could advise and weigh up the contra-indicating risk factors
long term antibiotics bad, osteoporosis makes complications in healing more likely and at small but increased risk of jaw fracture , personally i would not even attempt root canal on a wisdom tooth job definitely a job for specialist with a microscope and even then it could be £700 plus with no guarantee of success

chronological age is not really the point; biological age is what matters re healing, if she is healthy apart from osteoporosis not so bad
does she take bisophosphates?

rabbitstew Sun 14-Jun-15 17:42:16

She did get the root canal treatment done by a specialist and it was expensive! Apart from osteoporosis and osteoarthritis (and spinal stenosis), she is healthy. Yes, she's been taking bisphosphonates for years and in the last few years started having injections rather than taking orally...

Mrsmorton Sun 14-Jun-15 19:51:23

Another dentist here. Bisphosphonate related necrosis of the jaw is pretty hideous and may never heal. There is almost always a way around extracting though, she need to be referred to the right person. Injected bisphosphonates give a much higher risk than oral ones.

It's why patients should HAVE to see their dentist before starting these drugs. a lot of Drs seem to not appreciate this. Shit for your DM.

rabbitstew Sun 14-Jun-15 20:22:39

To be fair, I don't think dentists, let alone doctors, were aware of the issue when she first started taking them. After 2 attempts at root canal treatment by a specialist endodontist, what other options are there likely to be for her?

Mrsmorton Sun 14-Jun-15 20:26:57

It's very difficult to say without knowing more clinical detail. Has she been referred to a teaching hospital?

rabbitstew Sun 14-Jun-15 20:27:47

Should she try a third time? Or as many times as she has root canals in the tooth??...

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