If you are experiencing persistent pain, discomfort, or swelling in the back part of your jaw, and you still have your wisdom teeth, consult with your dentist to see if this last set of molars might be the culprit. Impacted wisdom teeth can create a wide range of symptoms without the teeth ever emerging through the gums. Your dentist can check on the progress of your wisdom teeth using X-rays to determine whether or not they need to be removed.
Symptoms of Impacted Wisdom Teeth
The wisdom teeth are the last set of molars, which usually emerge during the late teens or early twenties. Most people do not have enough room in their jaw to accommodate them. For this reason, it is common for them to become impacted and require extraction. Sometimes, the teeth become impacted before they have emerged at all from the gums. The tooth will not be visible, but can cause severe discomfort in your jaw and other teeth.
Signs that you might have an impacted wisdom tooth include:
Persistent discomfort in the back area of the job
Swelling in the gums or around adjacent teeth
Fever or other symptoms of infection
Persistent headache or earache
If you experience any of these symptoms and suspect they might be the result of an impacted wisdom tooth, consult with your dentist. In most cases, impacted wisdom teeth must be removed by an oral surgeon.
Having Your Wisdom Teeth Removed
Depending on how severely your wisdom teeth are impacted, your oral surgeon might recommend general anesthetic or, in less severe cases, may extract your teeth under local anesthetic with or without sedation. Talk to your dentist or oral surgeon about the best options to ensure your comfort.
During your recovery, you will be prescribed antibiotics as well as painkillers. You will need to eat soft foods for a few days. If the extraction has left behind an empty tooth socket, be sure to take precautions against dry socket. Avoid using straws to drink, avoid brushing the area where the tooth was removed, and follow all the aftercare instructions provided by your dentist or oral surgeon.