Warning Signs and Symptoms of 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 still important that you are able to identify the issue as early as possible.  Most of the time your dentist can detect impacted wisdom teeth early using an orthopantogram, a special type of x-ray,  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.

The most common symptoms of impacted wisdom teeth are:

  1. Throbbing Pain in the Back of the Mouth – When wisdom teeth become impacted, it causes a great deal of pain. You may notice pain radiating from the back of the mouth. This pain will get worse as the surrounding teeth become affected.
  2. Swollen, Tender, and Bleeding Gums – Impacted wisdom teeth or wisdom teeth in general can cause serious gum issues. The gums may come swollen and tender to the touch. Additionally, the gums may start to bleed when pressure is applied.  This may make brushing and flossing difficult and painful.  If you notice this symptom, it is important to contact your dentist immediately as it could also be a symptom of severe gum disease.
  3. Swelling Around the Jaw – Impacted wisdom teeth are often accompanied by swelling of both the gums and jaw. This symptom can be subtle at first, but can worsen quickly to the point that it can become painful and difficult to open your mouth.
  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 should be discussed with your doctor right away.

Complications may arise if treatment isn’t sought out to treat the impacted wisdom teeth.  Damage to adjacent teeth is the most common complication, this can cause infection or force the teeth out of place.

If you feel you are experiencing one or more of these warning signs and fear that you may have impacted wisdom teeth, you should contact your dentist immediately.