Impacted Wisdom Teeth Symptoms

Impacted Wisdom Teeth Symptoms

The wisdom teeth are the last teeth to come in; most people get them in their teens, though some people continue to see them develop through their late 20s.  When wisdom teeth are impacted, it can create several different problems for your smile. If you’re experiencing symptoms or suspect you may have impacted wisdom teeth, it’s best to see our Newport Beach dentist as soon as possible before the problems worsen.

To learn more about the signs of impacted wisdom teeth and what to look for, check for the following symptoms:

Pain Around Wisdom Teeth

Impacted wisdom teeth (also called third molars) can cause a number of uncomfortable symptoms, including pain, swelling, and infection. If your wisdom teeth are impacted, there’s a chance that they may have wedged themselves into adjacent tooth structures or gums, which increases your risk of discomfort or infection. These infections can spread to other teeth, causing decay and/or gum disease. The pain around wisdom teeth may feel dull and persistent, or can come and go at seemingly random times.

Swollen Gums in Back of Mouth

It’s common for the gums to become swollen anytime a tooth is getting ready to erupt. Including wisdom teeth. Swelling in your mouth or jaw can be extremely uncomfortable, and can make eating difficult. Typically, swelling will go down at some point, but you should go ahead and make a plan to see our dentist in Newport Beach. Untreated wisdom tooth swelling could be due to a cyst or tumor around the tooth. To temporarily ease symptoms, rinse with warm saltwater and take an anti-inflammatory medication as directed, such as Motrin or ibuprofen.

wisdom-teeth-removal-newport-beachStiffness in Your Jaw/TMJ

One of the most common symptoms of an impacted wisdom tooth is a stiff or sore jaw, because of how close your third molars are to your TMJ. Wisdom teeth are located on either side of your mouth, directly behind your other teeth in your top and bottom jaws. Impacted wisdom teeth are those that fail to grow in properly because they are trapped behind neighboring teeth or inside of the bone. This scenario can create extra pressure in your jaws, making your joints seem stiff or sore whenever it’s time to eat a meal.

Food Getting Caught When You Eat

Partially erupted wisdom teeth can cause food to get caught in your mouth behind your back teeth. If you have partially impacted wisdom teeth, they may not be able to break through your gums all the way like they’re supposed to. This situation can make it easy for food and plaque to get caught around the portion that does reach above the gums, putting you at an increased risk of cavities and periodontitis. Proactively removing your impacted wisdom teeth doesn’t just address the food getting caught, it protects the health of your adjacent teeth. It’s best to go ahead and have your wisdom teeth removed before cavities or bone loss have a chance to develop. Early screenings with our Newport Beach dentist will help.

Bad Breath (Halitosis)

If your wisdom teeth are partially erupted, it’s easier for food and bacteria to get caught around them, which then leads to issues such as bad breath.  If you’re noticing a change in how your breath smells or the way things taste, come in to have your wisdom teeth examined. Usually any infections around an impacted wisdom tooth or a cavity on a neighboring tooth can contribute to a foul odor. Halitosis may also be accompanied by other symptoms like pain when chewing or swollen gums around the involved tooth. Since the tooth is only partially erupted it may be impossible to brush or floss away the plaque or food debris in that area. Using a water flosser can help you clean hard-to-reach spaces like third molars. Just keep in mind that these areas are particularly prone to disease, so be sure to address them if symptoms of bad breath are starting to become evident.

Other Teeth Starting to Shift

Impacted wisdom teeth can change the alignment of your overall smile. If there isn’t enough room for them in your mouth, they can press and push against their neighbors. This pressure will lead to shifting and movement in other teeth, creating a chain reaction throughout your mouth. Crowding in your lower front teeth is extremely common. If you’ve ever worn braces or Invisalign, this concern can be a bit disheartening, as it can lead to relapse and the need for orthodontic treatment all over again. Early intervention is essential, especially if you want to avoid wearing braces again.

Wisdom Tooth Exams in Newport Beach

At first, impacted wisdom teeth might not cause any symptoms. However, as they continue to grow you may gradually notice off-and-on symptoms of pain, swelling, sore gums, or a stiff jaw. Not to mention bad breath. At that point, wisdom tooth removal is usually best for your oral health and comfort. Contact The Center For Restorative & Cosmetic Dentistry today to reserve a wisdom tooth evaluation.

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