Wisdom Teeth Impaction

Wisdom Teeth: How to Know When They’re Impacted

Wisdom teeth are the third set of molars that usually appear when you are between 16 and 25 years old, making up the last 4 of a full set of 32 teeth. They are located at the very back of your mouth, and because they are so far back there may not be enough room for them to come in normally. In most cases, wisdom teeth grow in sideways or remain buried under the gums or even bone. When this happens, they are referred to as impacted and will need medical attention.  This leads to a very common question:  how do I know if my wisdom teeth are impacted?

What Happens with Impacted Wisdom Teeth

Impacted wisdom teeth are trapped beneath the gums by your jaw bone or neighboring teeth. As they begin the process of trying to erupt, or press through your gums, you may feel a dull, throbbing pain or pressure toward the back of your jaws. If they are impacted, or trapped, you will begin to experience pain and other symptoms. This is due in part to how your wisdom teeth will begin to crowd your other teeth or begin to press on nerves or bone. As the wisdom teeth continue to (unsuccessfully) attempt eruption, the pain will begin to increase with time and make them more difficult to be removed later.

Your wisdom teeth may come partially through the gums, or they may not appear at all. They may come in at an angle, toward the next tooth in line or toward the back of your mouth. They may also come in at a right angle to your other teeth, or may remain trapped within your jawbone. The only way to know for sure is to conduct a 3D CT Scan, which can be done at the West U Family Dental offices.

Symptoms of Impacted Wisdom Teeth

These are the symptoms to look out for if you suspect your wisdom teeth are impacted:

  • Throbbing pain toward the back of your mouth that intensifies over time
  • Recurring headaches that begin around the temporomandibular joint and radiate to the skull and face
  • Swollen glands in your neck and shoulders
  • Bad breath or an ongoing unpleasant taste in your mouth
  • Gums that are swollen, red, tender, and/or bleeding toward the back of your mouth
  • Mouth is difficult to open, due to pain or issues with the temporomandibular joint
  • Swollen jaw

Untreated Impaction

When impacted wisdom teeth are left untreated, the symptoms listed above will worsen and additional complications can arise. These include gum disease, tooth decay, and damage to your other teeth due to crowding and infection.  If you suspect your wisdom teeth are impacted, visit West U Family Dental before the problems worsen.

Checking Wisdom Teeth

Many experts agree that the younger you are when your wisdom teeth are removed, the less likely you are to face complications later because the roots will be less developed. If you are between the ages of 16 and 19, the American Dental Association recommends that you have your wisdom teeth evaluated by a dentist.

Contact West U Family Dental Today!

If you suspect that your wisdom teeth are coming in, give us a call at West U Family Dental today.  We have the state of the art equipment to find out the exact condition of your wisdom teeth, including 3D CT Scans at no additional charge.  If you are nervous about visiting the dentist remember that we offer various levels of sedation. Don’t let your wisdom teeth become a problem!

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