Wisdom teeth are third molars in the back of the upper and lower jaws. Patients normally have 4 of them, 2 in the upper jaw and 2 in the lower jaw. However, some patients only have 2, 3, or no wisdom teeth at all. Wisdom teeth typically erupt between 17 and 25 years old, and for some patients erupt normally into the mouth. However, they often become impacted, meaning that they do not have enough room to erupt into the mouth normally. Impacted wisdom teeth may cause pain, damage to adjacent teeth, and other dental problems.
When pain associated with wisdom teeth is present, it usually means they have become impacted. Some of the following signs may be present when an impacted wisdom tooth becomes infected:
Some wisdom teeth impactions may partially erupt and have part of the crown showing while others may remain fully impacted below the gums. Complications can arise from both scenarios and may begin as bleeding gums or mild pain, but may develop into problems such as:
If you are experiencing any symptoms listed above it may be time to consider to addressing your wisdom teeth. In most cases of symptomatic impactions, wisdom teeth should be removed from the jaw to eliminate the problem and prevent future problems.