How to Tell If a Wisdom Tooth Is Impacted

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Nowadays, it is common practice for dentists to remove wisdom teeth early. This helps to protect the oral health of patients who might not have enough room to accommodate the incoming wisdom teeth. The jawbone of modern humans has shrunk over time, meaning that there often isn't enough space for wisdom teeth to come in.

When there is not enough room for a wisdom tooth to come in, it becomes impacted. In other words, the tooth only partially erupts from the gum. Sometimes, the angle of eruption is also to blame. If a wisdom tooth erupts at an angle, it may come into contact with another tooth, and become stuck.

If you are worried that your wisdom teeth might be impacted, look for the following signs.

You Will Experience Intense Pain

Normally, when wisdom teeth come in straight and unimpeded, there is some discomfort. This is due to the cusps of the large wisdom teeth cutting through the sensitive gum tissue in the back of your mouth. However, this pain is only minor compared to the pain you experience when a wisdom tooth is impacted.

The first sign that a wisdom tooth is impacted is intense pain. This pain usually presents itself as a throbbing, aching pain that radiates throughout the back of your jaw. If an erupting wisdom tooth is pushing against one of your molars, the pain will spread to your other teeth.

Your Gum and Jaw Will Swell

Along with the pain, you will experience swelling around the affected tooth. This swollen area will be painful to touch. The gum tissue around the impacted tooth will become inflamed and as a result, it will be difficult to brush your teeth without pain.

Infection May Eventually Occur

If a wisdom tooth partially erupts, flaps of gum tissue will act as traps, catching bacteria and food debris that finds its way to the tooth. As a result, the gum tissue will become infected. In more serious cases, a cyst may form under the gum tissue. This cyst forms as a result of bacteria and trapped food.

As well as being very painful and damaging to the surrounding gum tissue, this condition will also leave you with a foul taste in your mouth. In turn, you will notice that you have developed bad breath.

These are the main symptoms of impacted wisdom teeth. If you act quickly, for example, upon experiencing throbbing pain in your gum, your dentist may be able to extract the impacted wisdom tooth before it causes too much damage. Contact your dental office if you think you have an impacted wisdom tooth.