Most of us will need to have some or all of our wisdom teeth removed at some point, usually in our late teens or early 20s. They can become impacted, or blocked, as they attempt to erupt through the gums. This happens because there isn’t enough room in your mouth, but also because they sometimes grow in crookedly.

Having wisdom teeth removed is not something anyone wants to go through if they can avoid it, but it’s good to know the signs to look for that indicate a wisdom tooth extraction needs to be done.

Your wisdom teeth and surrounding gums are susceptible to bacteria, and plaque buildup. This can lead to an infection called pericoronitis. Symptoms include pain, swollen gums, discharge and odor from the nearby gums.
If you are experiencing pain in your teeth or jaw and it persists for more than a day or two, it’s a good idea to schedule an appointment with your dentist.

While pain is the most common symptom of impacted wisdom teeth, the condition does not always lead to pain. But swelling and red gums are also common symptoms, and a pretty sure sign that something is up.

In addition to swollen gums, you may experience swelling in your jaw. If you are experiencing any of the symptoms associated with pericoronitis, it’s important to act swiftly, since the infection can spread to your throat and neck.

If your gums are sensitive and/or bleeding, it could be a sign of gingivitis, a condition common with people who don’t properly and consistently brush and floss their teeth. However, these symptoms can also be related to wisdom teeth problems.

It’s not always easy to detect on your own, but sometimes bad breath can be associated with wisdom teeth problems, due to the aforementioned risk for bacterial infections. On a related note, you may also experience a bad taste in your mouth. Assuming you didn’t just have a meal with garlic, onions, or other potent spices or condiments, persistent bad breath or a bad taste in your mouth could be cause for concern.

Are you experiencing headaches? They can come about for a number of reasons, but if you are experiencing any of the aforementioned symptoms along with headaches, it can be an indicator of wisdom teeth problems, or other teeth that need to be looked at.

So, when should you call your dentist? If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, it’s worth discussing it with them. Something as simple as an x-ray can reveal the state of your wisdom teeth, and if any action needs to be taken.

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