Impacted Wisdom Teeth
There are few oral health issues that can be as painful or disruptive to daily life as impacted wisdom teeth. Although the pain of impacted wisdom teeth is often enough to let you know that something is wrong, it is important that you identify the issue as early as possible.
Impacted wisdom teeth can be detected early using x-rays, and can usually be identified before they begin to cause debilitating pain. Any patient with impacted wisdom teeth will begin to notice a few symptoms that will worsen as the condition continues to develop.
Common symptoms of impacted wisdom teeth
Symptom #1: Throbbing pain in the back of the mouth
When wisdom teeth become impacted, it causes a great deal of pain, particularly as the condition worsens. You may notice pain radiating from the back of the mouth, particularly focused on the area around the wisdom teeth and other molars. This pain will get worse as the surrounding teeth begin to become affected.
Symptom #2: Swollen, tender and bleeding gums
Impacted wisdom teeth can cause serious gum issues. The gums may become swollen and tender to the touch. They may start to bleed when pressure is applied, making flossing and brushing both painful and difficult. If you notice your gums becoming swollen and tender, the problem may be due to impacted wisdom teeth.
Symptom #3: Swelling around the jaw
Impacted wisdom teeth are often accompanied by swelling of both the gums and jaw. It can be subtle at first, but can worsen quickly to the point that it can become painful or difficult to open your mouth.
Symptom #4: Swollen glands in the shoulder and neck
Impacted wisdom teeth are often accompanied by swollen glands in the shoulder and neck. This combined with other symptoms is a sign that you may be experiencing impacted wisdom teeth.
Symptom #5: Headaches
Impacted wisdom teeth can cause headaches of the temporomandibular joint, which connects the jaw and skull. This pain may radiate to other areas of the head and face as well.
Complications of Impacted Wisdom Teeth
When wisdom teeth become impacted they can lead to crowding in the mouth, which promotes abnormal development of the adjacent teeth. It can also cause infection in and around the impacted areas. There are varying degrees of impacted wisdom teeth, some partially impacted teeth may have part of the crown showing, while others never penetrate the gum and are fully impacted. There are potential complications for both partially impacted and completely impacted teeth. Complications can begin as bleeding gums or mild pain but if left untreated can lead to:
- Damage to Adjacent Teeth: Wisdom teeth can push on the second molars, yielding infection or the requirement of orthodontia.
- Gum Disease and Tooth Decay: Due to their location and difficulty in cleaning, wisdom teeth are prone to infection and decay, causing the trapping of food and bacteria between the teeth and gums.
- Development of Cysts: Wisdom teeth grow in a sac located within the jaw and when filled with fluid can develop an uncomfortable cyst that can damage nerves.
Neglecting the issues that you may be having with your wisdom teeth may lead to more serious complications. As soon as you begin experiencing any of the warning signs outlined above, please schedule an appointment with Dr. Danny Jeon at Tucker Family Dental and address the issue head on.