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Wisdom teeth are the third set of molars and usually the last of your adult teeth to emerge between the ages of 17 and 25.  These teeth are found in the back of your mouth and are generally used for chewing and biting.  Although not all wisdom teeth cause problems, many of them do in such a way that requires them to be removed from your mouth. 

Impacted wisdom teeth cause problems because there is not enough room in your mouth for them to develop normally or erupt through the gums.  Nine out of ten people have at least one impacted tooth, which if left untreated may cause problems for neighboring teeth and become infected. Regular dental visits will help you monitor and assess your wisdom teeth to determine if they are impacted or crowding other teeth.

Four warning signs of impacted wisdom teeth are listed below.

1. Swollen, Tender or Bleeding Gums

When your teeth are impacted due to infection, swelling, tenderness, and bleeding around the infected gums are common symptoms.  If you leave this infection untreated, it may spread to other molars and cause damage to neighboring teeth.

2. Jaw Pain

If you feel pain in the back of your jaw, it may be due to an emerging impacted wisdom tooth that is pressing up against a neighboring back molar. There may be no space to accommodate the emerging wisdom tooth as it develops.

3. Discomfort when Opening Mouth

When an impacted wisdom tooth is attempting to emerge in insufficient space, it not only shifts the neighboring teeth out of position but also moves the jawline.  This may result in severe pain and stiffness in the jaw area for some patients.  The swelling in the gums and jaws may also deteriorate in such a way that it is difficult to open your mouth.

4. Unpleasant Taste in the Mouth and Bad Breath

An impacted wisdom tooth creates an environment for bacteria to proliferate which leads to infections, cysts or tooth decay.  When this occurs, a patient will experience an unpleasant taste in their mouth which may cause bad breath.

Are you experiencing oral pain and other symptoms which may suggest an impacted wisdom tooth?  Dr. Melchers and his experienced staff are here to address all your oral health care issues and evaluate your condition. Contact us today at info@oldmtpleasantdentistry.com to see how we can best meet your dental care needs.