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3 Warning Signs of Impacted Wisdom Teeth

As they’re typically the last 4 teeth to come in, wisdom teeth tend to run the highest rate of complications. Sometimes, when the jaw simply isn’t the right size to accommodate these teeth’s emergence through the gums, you get what the dental industry calls an “impaction”. This occurs when wisdom teeth are partially or fully encased by the jawbone and blocked by another tooth, lacking the available space to fit comfortably in your mouth.

While most impacted wisdom teeth don’t cause big dental issues and are easily detected in x-rays taken at the dentist’s office, it can be important to look out for some signs of potentially hazardous wisdom tooth impactions:

  1. Localized Pain and Bleeding

While mouth pain can indicate a wide variety of different things, it will be the first thing you notice if your wisdom teeth are impacted and interfering with the nerves that run through your jaw.

These symptoms may be caused by periodontitis, an inflammation, and infection of the tissues in and around the affected teeth, resulting in bad breath and bad taste in your mouth. These symptoms, as the most common of all dental complications, do not necessarily mean your wisdom teeth are the culprit, but your dentist can give you the most accurate assessment of the state of your oral health.

  1. Jaw Complications

People suffering from severely impacted wisdom teeth often complain of trouble opening and closing their jaw, as well as pain running from the problem area throughout the jaw line. Since the jaw line makes up a significant portion of the facial structure, these issues can result in facial swelling and pain.

In many cases of an impacted tooth, the problem may not have nervous system communication to the mouth, so you likely won’t feel any pain from the impaction in your jaw. If pain or the associated symptoms occur, your dental professional will take x-rays of the area and often times, recommend that you have surgery to remove all ill-fitting wisdom teeth.

  1. Inflammation of the Gums

Many oral hygiene issues can cause swelling of the gums, due to their tender, sensitive tissue. One of these issues is one of more impacted wisdom teeth, in which the tissues around the impaction become swollen and irritated. These warning signs typically start relatively mild, but can build to a severe pain if untreated.

A reason for potential severity is the fact that when the tissue overlying the affected teeth becomes infected, a condition dentist call pericoronitis, the infection can spread. These tend to occur in areas close to the neck, which can progress to sometimes life-threatening neck infections if not treated in time.

While most people with fully or partially impacted wisdom teeth don’t realize it until they see their x-rays, some complications from particularly severe cases can be dangerous to your oral and facial health. Use these warning signs as a guide for when it may be time to see a dentist.

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