Wisdom teeth generally appear between ages 17 and 25. The last of the 32 teeth to erupt, these four can cause a lot of trouble. Often, they don’t have the space to come in normally. When this happens, they may become impacted—they can be stuck under the gum or grow toward another tooth. The jaw usually doesn’t have enough space for all the teeth, and because wisdom teeth are the last to appear, they cause trouble.
Impacted wisdom teeth can cause problems. From trapped food to intense swelling and infection, it is best to prevent impact before it happens. Unfortunately, the only way to truly know if a wisdom tooth is impacted (or is on its way to being impacted) is to see a dentist or oral surgeon for an X-ray. However, a few symptoms; we have listed them below.
- Painful, swollen, and bleeding gums
- Swelling around the jaw
- Bad breath
- Consistent head and/or jaw ache
- Unpleasant taste while eating
- Stiffness of jaw
- Swollen lymph nodes
If you experience any of these symptoms, make an appointment with your dentist. Untreated impacted wisdom teeth can lead to gum disease and tooth decay, as well as tooth damage, infection, and overcrowding. In the rarest cases, impacted wisdom teeth can cause cysts and tumors. The best way to prevent impacted wisdom teeth is to visit your dentist regularly, practice good dental hygiene, and consult a professional if experiencing any non-normative sensations.