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Warning Signs of Impacted Wisdom Teeth

If you have wisdom teeth and experience pain, discomfort, tender, bleeding or swollen gums, these may be symptoms of impacted wisdom teeth. The dentists at North Burnaby Dental Group provide information about these symptoms and what you should do if you have impacted wisdom teeth.

How do I know if my symptoms are related to wisdom teeth?

Wisdom teeth are third molars at the back of the mouth and are the last to come in. They can be impacted or partially impacted when they do not have enough space to erupt, are not in alignment or are growing at an angle that prevents them from erupting in the arch. Impacted wisdom teeth can cause a lot of discomfort if they become symptomatic. If you have wisdom teeth, some warning signs that you should watch for in relation to unerupted wisdom teeth are:

1. Pain

The most basic and uncomfortable sign is that of pain over the involved area. Pain could be intermittent, consistent, throbbing, pricking in nature; radiating to the ear, head, jaws, face or the temporomandibular joint. It could be a well-defined or a diffuse area. It can range from mild, moderate to severe in intensity depending on the severity of the impact.

2. Inflammation

The gums and soft tissue around the tooth might appear red, swollen, tender and gums around the impacted tooth might bleed upon brushing.

3. Bad Odour From Mouth and Altered Taste Sensation

You may experience some bad odour from your mouth and also feel your taste sensation alter to some extent.

4. Difficulty in Opening Mouth

If this appears, it may be due to the swelling in the tissues and gums or an infection.

5. Swollen Lymph Nodes/Glands in the Neck and Shoulder

The glands in the neck and shoulder can become palpable as they can become engorged with the fluids they are trying to drain from the inflamed site.

6. Pressure Sensation Along the Jaws/Adjacent Teeth

This may be due to the pressure exerted by the impacted tooth on the adjacent teeth leading to a tightening sensation along the line of pressure.

7. Misalignment of Teeth

Previously aligned teeth start getting crowded or go out of normal alignment as the impacted tooth exerts pressure and they try to accommodate it in the arch.

8. Changes in Bite

Due to movement of teeth, the bite or the way your teeth close on top of each other might change leading to difficulty in eating, chewing, speaking or pain

Further Challenges Caused by Wisdom Teeth 

Not everyone experiences painful symptoms or any problems with their wisdom teeth. They can, however, be very challenging to clean. As a result, this can lead to causing other dental concerns such as:

1. Decay

Partially erupted teeth are more susceptible to decay as they are hard to clean and act as easy traps for food debris that get stuck between the misaligned tooth and the gums.

2. Gum Disease

The inability to maintain hygiene will lead to deterioration in the gum condition leading to further spread of disease and loss of supporting structures.

3. Damage to Other Teeth

An impacted wisdom tooth can push against the adjacent teeth causing pressure symptoms.

4. Abscess/Cyst/Non-Malignant Tumor Formation

The sac lining around the impacted tooth can turn into either of these leading to swelling, pain and loss of jaw bone that would require surgical removal.

If you are experiencing any of these warning signs or symptoms and are concerned that you have impacted wisdom teeth, contact your Burnaby Dentist right away. They will answer any questions you have, provide a diagnosis and guide you through your treatment options.

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