The wisdom teeth are the third set of molars that fully develop during a person’s late teens or early twenties. Most people have four wisdom teeth—two on the top row, two on the bottom—that appear in each corner of the mouth. Some people’s wisdom teeth come in well aligned and without any issues, while others experience complications like wisdom tooth impaction.
What is an Impacted Wisdom Tooth?
If a third molar doesn’t have the space needed to grow properly and erupt (come in through the gums), it leads to an impacted wisdom tooth. These teeth usually grow in sideways and negatively affect the nearby molars.
The aftermath of wisdom tooth impaction can vary from person to person, or even from tooth to tooth. It’s not uncommon to have major issues with the bottom molars, while the top-row molars are properly aligned. Some experience no noticeable symptoms, while others may feel the complications brought on by impaction.
Common Symptoms of an Impacted Wisdom Tooth
Wisdom teeth impaction increases the risk of infection and tooth damage. These issues often lead to symptoms like:
- Red and/or swollen gums
- Tender and/or bleeding gums
- Bad-smelling breath
- A bad taste in the mouth that won’t go away after brushing
- Pain in the jaw
- Complications when opening the mouth
It’s possible to experience some, all, or none of these issues from tooth impaction. Even if you have no symptoms, it’s wise to have any impacted wisdom teeth removed before any symptoms or further complications start to develop.
How Can I Fix an Impacted Wisdom Tooth?
The best way to treat an impacted wisdom tooth is to have it removed entirely. Wisdom teeth removal is a common and safe procedure that puts an end to any symptoms and stops impaction complications from developing further.