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The three warning signs of impacted wisdom teeth

Updated: Dec 18, 2018

It has become increasingly rare in modern times, for wisdom teeth to fully erupt without problems. This is due to our jaws evolving over time, becoming smaller than they once were and no longer having the room for these ‘third molars’ to develop. Never ignore therefore any wisdom teeth symptoms!

Wisdom teeth are the last teeth in the mouth to break through the gums, and are located right at the very back of the mouth at both the top and bottom. They will start to form, beneath the surface in your pre-teenage years and attempt to break through anytime usually between the ages of 18-25. However due to many mouths/jaws not being large enough a number of problems can, and often arise:

  • Full Impaction. This is where the tooth never fully erupts into the mouth

  • Partial impaction. A very common problem. This is where the tooh only has room to partially break through the gums and become painfully lodged, often at an awkward angle, in the jawbone.

If left untreated, complications such as gum disease, abcesses, damage to adjacent teeth or nerves and bone, and even teeth overcrowding can occur. Sometimes though no symptoms may present themselves at all but it is still important to have their development checked regularly by your dentist.

The main signs to watch out for in this area are:

  • Redness and/or swelling of the gums in the back of the mouth

  • Difficulty chewing

  • Pain and tenderness in the back of the mouth

Other common signs to watch out for are:

  • Bad breath

  • Headache, pain between jaw and skull, known as TMJ

  • Unpleasant taste in your mouth

  • Swollen glands

The most common treatment for impacted wisdom teeth is to have them extracted. Extraction is generally done at your dentist’s under local anaesthetic or sometimes, depending on the extent of the impaction, under general anaesthetic at a hospital.

For further information or advice contact College Street Dental Centre in Petersfield, Hampshire on 01730 263180


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