Often the last of the adult teeth to appear, wisdom teeth typically emerge between the ages of 17 and 25. By then, your mouth has already settled into its shape, leaving wisdom teeth with little room to work. Because of this, the growing teeth have a high potential to become impacted wisdom teeth and must be removed. Impacted wisdom teeth aren’t always accompanied by painful symptoms, however, it is common that these symptoms will occur and a dentist or oral surgeon is needed to diagnosis them. To prevent future problems from impacted wisdom teeth, here are 6 symptoms to keep an eye out for.
Quick Facts About Wisdom Teeth
Positioned at the back of the mouth, wisdom teeth are our third molars and most people develop four — two on the top and two on the bottom. Variations in the amount of wisdom teeth and the number of impacted wisdom teeth vary on a person to person basis. While four wisdom teeth are expected, it is not uncommon to have 0-3 wisdom teeth form. Impacted wisdom teeth can result in pain, damage to other teeth and a list of additional dental problems. Being aware of possible symptoms caused by impacted wisdom teeth can save your mouth significant pain in the long run.
Symptoms of Impacted Wisdom Teeth
Symptoms of wisdom teeth pain have the potential to range in pain from subtle to unbearable. It is important to pay attention to your mouth as an impacted wisdom tooth can become infected, causing damage to other teeth and areas of your mouth. Here are some symptoms of impacted wisdom to be on the lookout for:
- Red or swollen gums
- Swelling around the jaw/jaw pain
- Tender or bleeding gums
- Difficulty opening your mouth
- Bad breath
- An unpleasant taste in your mouth
Causes of Impacted Wisdom Teeth
As the last of the 32 adult teeth form, wisdom teeth have the unique challenge of trying to fit in what little room is left. Some people have wisdom teeth that emerge without any problems, lining up behind the second set of molars, however, in many cases, the mouth is too crowded for wisdom teeth to develop normally. These crowded third molars become trapped (impacted) and can be quite painful. This occurs when the teeth grow:
- at an angle toward the tooth ahead of it (second molar)
- at an angle toward the back of the mouth
- perpendicular to the other teeth
- straight up like other teeth but stay trapped within the jawbone
When to See a Doctor for Wisdom Teeth
Impacted wisdom teeth can cause several oral health problems in the mouth. Developing in a sac within the jawbone, cysts can form and damage teeth, nerves, and the jaw. Although typically benign, this complication may require the removal of tissue and bone. Partially impacted wisdom teeth appear to be at higher risk of tooth decay than other teeth. If left untreated, the risk of developing a painful, inflammatory gum condition called pericoronitis increases as well. Be sure to see your dentist if any of the symptoms listed above last longer than 24 hours.
Wisdom Tooth Removal Near You in PA
If you or someone you know has been experiencing mouth or tooth pain, look no further than the experienced oral surgery team at St Luke’s OMS. With the potential to get exponentially worse, don’t let untreated wisdom teeth create a problem. Please contact us to set up a consultation appointment to relive your condition today. Wisdom tooth pain is not something you have to deal with on your own, so let us help you get back to feeling like yourself!