The Warning Signs of Impacted Wisdom Teeth

Wisdom teeth (rearmost molars) gain their name from the fact that they are the last teeth that develop in a grownadult’s mouth. Situated at the rearmost part of the jaw, they are the third and final tooth set to form around 17 to 21 years of age. That said they can develop much later in life and in some cases they even remain undeveloped, remaining deep inside the jaw.


Impacted wisdom teeth occur when there isn’t enough room in the mouth between the existing teeth and the jaw bone for the wisdom teeth to form correctly. This “overcrowding” sometimes leads to the teeth being twisted, pushed sideways, or only partially exposed through the gum. If all of that sounds painful, it often is!

The knock on effects of impacted wisdom teeth

Once the impacted wisdom teeth become twisted, pushed, or only partially exposed other problems are likely to occur. These include misalignment of the bite, jaw pain and dysfunction, and inflammation, especially where the tooth is only partially exposed through the gum. This inflammation of the gums can also lead to greater buildupsof plaque which, in turn, can lead to other oral hygiene issues.

Early warning signs of impacted wisdom teeth

In all aspects of good dental health and oral hygiene, early detection of any potential issues is the best way to minimise damage and ensure an expedient recovery. Regular dental check-ups should always be the first line of defence while regular flossing and cleaning may highlight any changes in the mouth in-between times. Things to look out for include but are not limited to:

  • Irritation of the gums right at the backmost part of the mouth that may often accompanya swelling and/or redness, are pretty strong indications of an issue.
  • Pain or discomfort when moving the jaw such as opening the mouth during eating or even speaking.
  • Interrupted sleep patterns due to discomfort or pain in the mouth.
  • Bad breath (halitosis) and a bad taste in the mouth especially when biting.
  • Other symptoms may or may not include feverishness and a general feeling of ill health.
Getting your impacted wisdom teeth fixed

It has long been common practice among dental practitioners to resolve both present and potential impacted wisdom teeth issues as early as possible. There are a few good reasons for this practice and the primary one is that the young tend to recover from surgical procedures quite quickly. A dentist will carry out a thoroughoral examination and take some x-rays to establish how serious the situation is.

The most effective form of treatment for impacted wisdom teeth is to surgically remove (extract) them. Due to their position in the mouth and their depth in the jaw, wisdom teeth extractions can sometimes be quite involved and they may even require the administration of a general anaesthetic. Apart from soreness in the mouth, patients are expected to recover within a few days and probablyprefer a soft food diet while doing so.

If you think you may be suffering from impacted wisdom teeth or you just need a helpful and friendly dentist you should contact the caring team at Signal Hill Dental Centre right now!