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Got a Sharp Wisdom Tooth?

Wisdom teeth can feel sharp if they're decayed/cavitated, fractured or it could just be a normal variation of dental anatomy. However, since they're located so far back in your mouth you won't know for sure until you get a dental consultation with x-rays.


In other words, you should see a dentist but we're going to explain each of these conditions and show you photos so that you can be mentally prepared for what is to come.


Decayed and cavitated third molar

Wisdom teeth with large decay can become cavitated and that could make it feel very sharp along the cavitation edges. In other words, the cavity grew so large that the tooth structure collapsed leaving sharp edges that can bother your tongue and cheek.


The photo below shows a decayed third molar where you can see part of the tooth is now missing. The area where it is cavitated looks very sharp!

decayed and cavitated third molar with sharp edges
decayed and cavitated third molar with sharp edges

Signs/Symptoms:

  • Feels sharp to your tongue and finger.

  • Food gets stuck in the tooth.

  • Foul odor and taste.

  • Discomfort or pain.

  • Black or brown looking.


What needs to be done: The tooth will need to be extracted because cavitated wisdom teeth that have become sharp are usually beyond restorable with a regular cavity filling. The decay is so deep that the entire tooth will need to be removed and it cannot be saved.


 

Fractured wisdom tooth

A sharp feeling wisdom tooth could be a result of a fracture meaning that the molar cracked. Perhaps you were eating hard foods or you bit down the wrong way. If it sustains a fracture you will definitely feel sharpness along the area that cracked!


The photo below shows a wisdom tooth which cracked along the mesial-buccal cusp. As you can probably imagine, that fractured area feels mighty sharp.

broken wisdom tooth with sharp edges
broken wisdom tooth with sharp edges

Signs/Symptoms:

  • Feels sharp to your tongue and finger.

  • Food gets stuck in the fractured area.

  • Foul odor and taste.

  • Discomfort or pain.

  • Pain upon chewing.

  • Can easily become decayed.

  • Piece of tooth came out.


What needs to be done: Unfortunately this condition will also require a wisdom tooth extraction unless the crack is very mild. If it is due to the latter, a small amount of bonding may be able to extend its longevity.


You won't know the extent of the damage until you see your dentist but we recommend being prepared for the worse.


 

Normal dental anatomy

Once in a while, a sharp wisdom tooth could be normal meaning it is a normal variation of dental anatomy. Some teeth are very round/blunted while others can grow in very sharp like the canine/vampire tooth!


The photo below shows a supraerupting wisdom tooth that is trying to grow towards the cheeks. As you can see, the tip of the cusp looks pretty pointy/sharp.


sharp wisdom tooth supraerupting
sharp wisdom tooth supraerupting

Signs/symptoms:

  • Feels sharp to the tongue/cheek/fingers.

  • Tooth is intact otherwise.

  • No foul odor or smell.

  • No pain.


What needs to be done: If the sharp tooth isn't bothering you too much such as it is not cutting into your cheeks, you can leave it alone. However if it is impacted or if it affects the quality of your life, perhaps an extraction will permanently solve your problem.


 

Takeaway

A third molar that feels sharp could be a lot of things, sometimes it is an indication of something wrong while other times it could be normal. You won't know until you see your dentist. Our dentists in Long Island City provide wisdom teeth consultations as well as removals. Although if they are impacted, we will have to give you a referral to see the oral surgeon.

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About the author: Dr David Chen, DDS

Hello, I'm Dr Chen and I'm an actively practicing dentist in Long Island City, NY. I graduated from Columbia University College of Dental Medicine in 2016 but prior to going to dental school I was already working in the dental field. It's been more than a decade since I first got to know dentistry and let me tell you, time flies by quickly. Since then I've developed a fondness for writing, which is how this all got started!

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Medical Disclaimer:

This blog is purely meant for information purposes and should not be used as medical advice. Each situation in your mouth is unique and complex. It is not possible to give advice nor diagnose any oral conditions based on text nor virtual consultations. The best thing to do is to go in person to see your dentist for an examination and consultation so that you can receive the best care possible.

The purpose of all of this oral health information is to encourage you to see your dentist and to inform you of what you may expect during your visit. Due to the unfortunate nature of dentistry, there isn't really any true home remedies that will get rid of dental problems. Roughly 99.99% of them require in-person intervention by a healthcare professional.

Hint: That is the reason why you can't eliminate seeing dentists in your life!

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