Between the ages of 15 to 25, most people have a third set of molars erupt, known as wisdom teeth. In the past, humans needed the extra molars to properly chew their food. Nowadays, they don’t serve much purpose. As a result, the human jawbone has narrowed throughout time, which means few people have enough room in their mouths to accommodate more teeth. This can lead to wisdom tooth pain. Although you might hope it will resolve on its own, it’s often a symptom of an impaction. Here are 3 signs you need to schedule a wisdom tooth consultation.
An impacted wisdom tooth can cause significant discomfort. Not only can you experience dental pain, but you can also develop issues with your jaw. In some cases, the inflammation can put pressure on the temporomandibular joint, which connects your jaw to your skull on either side of your face. Over time, this can lead to a TMJ disorder that might make it difficult to open and close your mouth. Unfortunately, jaw pain isn’t the only concern. You can experience discomfort in other ways as well, such as:
- Sinus pain
- Tender glands
- Neck and shoulder pain
- Facial pain
- Painful, bleeding gums
2. Swelling or Bleeding
It’s normal for your gums to be a little tender or inflamed as the wisdom teeth erupt, but if it doesn’t improve, there might be an issue. Swelling or bleeding of the gums are signs of impaction. You may experience swelling in various areas of your body, including:
- Around the jaw
- Glands in neck or shoulder
3. Bad Taste in Your Mouth
If improving your oral hygiene habits doesn’t get rid of the bad taste in your mouth, it may not be caused by your last meal. You might also have bad breath. Both issues can occur if food debris or bacteria get trapped between the tissue and erupting teeth. This is common with wisdom teeth that grow in at an angle.
Removing Impacted Wisdom Teeth
If your dentist finds one or more of your third molars are impacted, they will recommend having them removed. They will suggest one of two extraction options:
- Simple Extraction: A simple extraction can be used when a tooth is visible above the gum line. It is taken out using special dental instruments and forceps.
- Surgical Extraction: If the tooth is partially or fully trapped beneath the gum tissue, it will need to be surgically removed.
Don’t Live with Wisdom Tooth Pain
If you suspect you have an impacted wisdom tooth, don’t spend another day dealing with discomfort. Contact your dentist to schedule your consultation to have it removed.
About Dr. Hubert Parker
Dr. Parker earned his dental degree at the University of Mississippi School of Dentistry before continuing his training in endodontics, dental implants, and oral surgery. He is also one of the few dentists worldwide to be a certified dentist for various sports teams. If you have a wisdom tooth giving you grief, contact our office today for an appointment.