Although wisdom teeth are no longer necessary, our mouths still continue to produce them. Currently, your best option is to extract them long before they become an issue, but for various reasons, this is not always possible. If you’re reading this, you’ve likely waited just a little too long to see your Tampa dentist and now have an impacted tooth. But how do you know for sure?

First, a little clarification…

An impacted wisdom tooth is simply one that is ready to emerge but cannot surface due to insufficient space. What this really means isyour wisdom tooth is now lodged within the bone of your jaw. If this sounds painful, it is! And if you choose not to get your wisdom teeth taken care of, get ready, because you’re about to experience some (if not all) of these dreadful symptoms:

(1) Pain in the back of your mouth, around your gums and near your molars. This pain will continue to get worse as the impacted tooth presses harder against your jaw bone and nerves.

(2) Tender, reddish or bleeding gums.

(3) A swollen jaw which may show up as a chewing problem or simply difficulty opening and closing your jaw.

(4) Abnormally enlarged neck or shoulder glands.

(5) Frequent headaches.

These painful warning signs are enough to worry about, but the real threat is what happens when you don’t pay attention to them.With over 30 years of experience as a Tampa dentist, we’ve seen our fair share of impacted wisdom teeth. A few of the most alarming complications include:

(1) Tooth movement. Shifting of the other teeth in your mouth,as well as possible damage is a known complication of an impacted wisdom tooth.

(2) Oral infections. Once a wisdom tooth breaks through the skin, it becomes open to infection by allowing bacteria in.

(3) Gum disease. Because wisdom teeth are prone to infection and decay, gum disease is a serious concern.

(4) Cysts. When the sacs surrounding your wisdom teeth become impacted, these cysts can cause damage to your nerves and nearby teeth.

In most situations, an impacted wisdom tooth will require dental surgery and tooth removal. The good news is that once the pain-causing tooth has been extracted, your agonizing symptoms should start to dissipate! Make sure to follow the care instructions from your dentist for a faster, safer healing process.

If you’re experiencing any of the symptoms above, call your dentist immediately! If you need a Tampa dentist, contact us online or give us a call at (813) 961-1727.