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:
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.
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:
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.