Your Guide to Understanding Impacted Wisdom Teeth
In the deepest recesses of your mouth lie your third molars—more commonly known as wisdom teeth—and classically a source of pain, discomfort, and potentially dangerous complications. While not everyone struggles with wisdom teeth gone awry, it is so common that many experts recommend wisdom teeth removal even if they have not presented problems. Troublesome wisdom teeth are referred to as impacted wisdom teeth and may come with signs and symptoms that will alert you to take action. However, not all problem wisdom teeth present with symptoms, making routine visits to your dentist in Virginia a must for maintaining optimal oral health.
Symptoms of Impacted Wisdom Teeth
You don’t always know if you have impacted wisdom teeth, because symptoms aren’t always present. There are some warning signs, however, that you should be aware of and report to your dentist in Virginia to determine whether wisdom teeth removal is the best course of action for you. Symptoms of impacted wisdom teeth include:
- Swelling around the jaw
- Swollen, tender, red, or bleeding gums
- Headaches of the temporomandibular joint (TMJ), the connection between the jaw and skull
- Unpleasant breath odor
- Bad taste in the mouth
Causes of Impacted Wisdom Teeth
For many people, the eruption of their wisdom teeth causes crowding in the mouth, leading to abnormal development. These third molars may be impacted, causing infection or interrupting the normal growth of the adjacent teeth. There are different degrees of impacted wisdom teeth: some are partially impacted, with part of the crown showing, while others never break through the gum and are fully impacted. Whether some or all of the wisdom teeth are partially or completely impacted, there is a high risk of complications.
Complications of Impacted Wisdom Teeth
Complications of impacted wisdom teeth can start as bleeding gums or mild pain, but if left untreated, can quickly develop into such problems as:
- Damage to adjacent teeth. Wisdom teeth can push on the second molars, causing infection or the need for orthodontia.
- Gum disease and tooth decay. Wisdom teeth are prone to infection and decay because this area of the mouth can be hard to clean, causing food and bacteria to become trapped between the teeth and gums.
- Development of cysts. Wisdom teeth grow in a sac located within the jaw, which can become filled with fluid, developing an uncomfortable cyst that can damage the nerves of the teeth, gums, and jaw.
When to Consult your Dentist about Impacted Wisdom Teeth
If you experience pain, bleeding gums, inflammation, or other symptoms at or near your wisdom teeth, schedule a visit with your dentist in Virginia right away. Failing to deal with wisdom teeth problems can lead to serious complications.
Even if your wisdom teeth are not causing discomfort, regular dental check-ups are essential to ensuring good oral health. Routine x-rays of your teeth can help your dentist ensure that your wisdom teeth are not going to become a problem.
To get the dental care you deserve from an affordable dentist in Virginia, call Dental One Associates of Virginia today at or make an appointment.
Dental One Associates offers affordable family dentistry and gentle, compassionate dental care in Virginia. With 4 affiliated practices throughout Virginia, our offices are conveniently located with extended hours to meet your needs. At Dental One Associates of Virginia, we provide most dental services, from basic preventative care and general dentistry to specialized procedures and complete dental reconstruction. We accept most dental insurance plans and offer affordable financial solutions for any budget. Patient satisfaction is our top priority and we strive to provide the exceptional, affordable dental care and personal touch that lead to lasting relationships. A smiling patient is our greatest reward and we look forward to keeping those smiles healthy, beautiful, and bright. Discover an affordable dentist who truly cares at Dental One Associates of Virginia.