Most people have to deal with their wisdom teeth at some point, with many experiencing a painful struggle. Wisdom teeth erupt in the very back of the mouth, and are also known as the “third molars”. They are infamous for causing lots of physical pain and discomfort, as well as their potential to cause serious dental complications. Most dentists recommend wisdom teeth removal for this reason.
However, not everyone chooses to get their wisdom teeth removed immediately – so being aware of the potential danger of impacted wisdom teeth is essential. They can damage surrounding teeth, lead to tooth decay and gum disease, and even cause painful cysts to develop in the mouth. While not all signs are noticeable, we have put together a guide of the three major warning signs of impacted wisdom teeth that could indicate an immediate need for dental intervention:
1- Jaw Pain
Wisdom teeth can cause pain throughout the jaw area and into the skull, leading to intense headaches. Pain and discomfort often increases while chewing, especially if the pain shoots into any nearby teeth or to the back of the mouth. This can also result in swelling around the entire jaw, which indicates a serious impaction that puts you at risk for infection or even damage to surrounding nerves.
2- Aching or Bleeding Gums
When wisdom teeth are impacted, it not only affects the jaw and adjacent teeth, but also the surrounding gums. Aching or bleeding gums is an alarming sign that there is something wrong, especially when bleeding occurs with little to no provocation. When located in the back of the mouth, tender or swollen gums generally indicate that the issue is with the wisdom teeth.
3- Foul Taste and Smells
Impacted wisdom teeth are often a breeding ground for bacteria, which gets trapped in the soft area of the gums and teeth. Bacteria grow quickly in dark, damp places like the back of the mouth, and infections can rapidly develop there. When these infections are left untreated, they can lead to tooth decay and mouth cysts. This will result in a foul or bad taste in the mouth, as well as bad breath noticeable to others.
Wisdom teeth can cause a multitude of serious complications, including permanently damaged nerves, so it’s important to stay aware of these warning signs and take them seriously. If left alone without dental intervention, it can lead to a decline in overall health. If you or someone you know is experiencing symptoms of erupting or impacted wisdom teeth, call our office today at (562) 434-6414 to schedule your next appointment.