Your wisdom teeth are your third set of molars that usually make an appearance inside your mouth during your late teenage years—however, they don’t always make a friendly entrance! Although they can sometimes emerge without complications, the majority of patients struggle with issues that result in the teeth needing to be extracted. One such issue is an impacted wisdom tooth; and it’s often accompanied by a great deal of pain! Here’s more from your dentist about impacted wisdom teeth and three warning signs that indicate you should seek treatment.
1. Jaw Pain
This is perhaps the most obvious symptom that there’s an issue with one or more of your wisdom teeth. An impacted wisdom tooth is stuck in your gums, and as you can imagine, it can be pretty uncomfortable to have a tooth trying to erupt when there’s no room for it! This pain can manifest in several different ways including dull or aching soreness in the back of the mouth, irritated gums, discomfort when moving the jaw, earaches, headaches, neck and facial pain, and even sinus soreness. Extra pressure in the back of your jaw can negatively influence virtually every part of your mouth—so many of these painful symptoms can often manifest simultaneously!
2. Swollen or Bleeding Gums
It’s normal for your gums to feel irritated when teeth are erupting, but under normal circumstances this pain should be tolerable. However, if your gums are noticeably swollen and prone to bleeding, especially towards the back of your mouth, you might have an impacted wisdom tooth. This could also indicate gum disease; when teeth are stuck below the gumline or only partially erupted, they become an ideal spot for bacteria to hide and thrive. Over time, these particles can infect the gums and cause all sorts of issues that spread beyond your wisdom teeth. This means that you’ll need to have your impacted tooth addressed and receive gum disease therapy!
3. Bad Breath or Foul Taste
One of the more unpleasant symptoms of having an impacted wisdom tooth is the accompanying bad breath and foul taste that it can leave in your mouth. Since impacted teeth can create spaces that naturally accumulate bacteria and food debris, your breath will quickly begin to stink if these particles are left to amass.
If you notice any of these symptoms, you shouldn’t hesitate to contact your dentist; an impacted wisdom tooth might not seem serious at first, but it can lead to a number of other oral health issues that threaten your smile.
About the Author
Dr. Cameron Wendling received his dental doctorate from West Virginia University and is proud to serve patients and families in the Dallas, TX area. His practice is pleased to offer many available services including wisdom tooth extraction. If you suspect you’re suffering from an impacted wisdom tooth, don’t hesitate to reach out for assistance: (972) 960-1111.