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Impacted wisdom teeth

There are few oral health problems that can be as painful or disruptive to daily life as impacted wisdom teeth. Although the pain from impacted wisdom teeth is often enough to let you know something is wrong, it's important to identify the problem as soon as possible.

Impacted wisdom teeth can be detected early by X-ray and can usually be identified before they begin to cause debilitating pain. Any patient with impacted wisdom teeth will begin to notice some symptoms that will worsen as the condition continues to develop.

Common symptoms of impacted wisdom teeth

Symptom #1: Stabbing pain in the back of the mouth

When wisdom teeth are impacted, it causes a lot of pain, particularly as the condition worsens. You may notice pain radiating from the back of your mouth, particularly focused in the area around your wisdom teeth and other molars. This pain will worsen as the surrounding teeth begin to be affected.

Symptom #2: Swollen, tender, and bleeding gums

Impacted wisdom teeth can cause serious gum problems. The gums can swell and become tender to the touch. They can start to bleed when pressure is applied, making brushing and flossing painful and difficult. If you notice that your gums are swollen and tender, the problem may be due to impacted wisdom teeth.

Symptom #3: Swelling around the jaw

Impacted wisdom teeth are often accompanied by inflammation of both the gums and jaw. It may be subtle at first, but it can quickly worsen to the point where it becomes painful or difficult to open your mouth.

Symptom #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, is a sign that you may be experiencing impacted wisdom teeth.

Symptom #5: Headaches

Impacted wisdom teeth can cause headaches in the temporomandibular joint, which connects the jaw and skull. This pain can also radiate to other areas of the head and face.

Complications of impacted wisdom teeth

When wisdom teeth impact, they can cause crowding in the mouth, which promotes the abnormal development of adjacent teeth. It can also cause infection in and around the affected areas. There are various degrees of impacted wisdom teeth, some partially impacted teeth may show part of the crown, while others never penetrate the gum line and are fully impacted. There are potential complications for both partially impacted and fully impacted teeth. Complications can start as bleeding gums or mild pain, but if left untreated they can lead to:

- Damage to the adjacent teeth: the wisdom teeth can push the second molars, causing an infection or the need for orthodontics.

- Gum disease and cavities: Due to their location and difficulty in cleaning them, wisdom teeth are prone to infection and decay, causing food and bacteria to become trapped between the teeth and gums.

- Development of cysts: wisdom teeth grow in a pocket located inside the jaw and when they fill with fluid they can develop an uncomfortable cyst that can damage the nerves.

- Neglecting the problems you may have with your wisdom teeth can lead to more serious complications.

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