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Five warning signs your wisdom teeth may be impacted

An impacted wisdom tooth is an oral health condition that should not be ignored and will usually require extraction to prevent further complications. But how can you tell if one or more of your molars is trapped under your gums? Here are a few potential warning signs.

1.   Discomfort at the back of your mouth

A consistent dull ache or pressure at the back of your mouth or sharp discomfort when you yawn, or chew is one of the most common signs of impacted wisdom teeth. You may also notice that your rear teeth are more sensitive to hot or cold foods than they were in the past.

2.   Inflammation, redness or swelling

Red, tender gums at the back of your mouth are another common side effect of impacted wisdom teeth. Inflammation can be a sign of an infected wisdom tooth, which can be a serious condition and needs to be treated immediately.

3.   Halitosis or bad breath

Partially impacted wisdom teeth create small pockets where food and bacteria can gather. This trapped bacteria can lead to bad breath and a bad taste in your mouth.

4.   Changes in your bite

Impacted molars that push against your other teeth can potentially alter the position of your teeth and lead to a misaligned bite. Changes in your bite can cause improper chewing and for some teeth to wear down faster than others. If it just doesn’t feel right when you chew, or it seems like teeth don’t match up like they used to, it’s time to schedule an examination.

5.   Adjacent teeth feel loose

Impacted wisdom teeth that push against your second row of molars can cause your healthy teeth to loosen if left untreated. If your back teeth wobble or move, even just a little bit, this is a sign that something is wrong under the gum line.

Confirming wisdom teeth impaction

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms and are concerned that your wisdom teeth may be impacted, make an appointment with your dentist for a full examination. Your doctor will take x-rays to see how your wisdom teeth are positioned in your jawbone and to determine if there is enough space in your mouth for the third molars to erupt safely.