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Three Warning Signs of an Impacted Wisdom Tooth

For many people, one or more of their wisdom teeth become impacted (trapped in the jawbone or only partially erupted) if not removed. When this happens, the impacted wisdom tooth has to be removed to prevent infection, damage to other teeth and the jawbone, and pain. We often recommend removing your wisdom teeth when you are in your teens or early twenties to avoid any potential issues later in life.

If you have not had your wisdom teeth removed at a young age, you may never have a problem. However, most individuals end up with at least one impacted wisdom tooth.  The surgery to remove an impacted tooth is more difficult the older you are, and complications are more likely. If you have any of the symptoms outlined below, contact our office at Alaska Oral Surgery Group Office Phone Number 907-278-5678, and we will schedule an appointment to evaluate your wisdom teeth.

Toothache or Facial Pain

Pain and swelling are common indicators of impacted wisdom teeth. While a dull, throbbing toothache is most likely, some patients experience an earache due to the proximity of wisdom teeth to the ear canal. Temporomandibular joint pain is also common, along with pain radiating through the cheek and side of the face.

Some individuals may have impacted wisdom teeth and not realize that the pain they’re experiencing is directly related. Chronic allergy pain, sinus infections, and even migraines are sometimes blamed when it is actually an impacted wisdom tooth.


As the teeth come in, there is often swelling around the base of the new tooth. Gums may be puffy and tender. The inflammation can be severe when wisdom teeth are impacted and trying to force their way through the gums.

Many times the swelling spreads, sometimes to surprising areas. Areas that may swell include the jawline, glands in the neck and shoulders, cheekbones, and sinuses.

Chronic Bad Breath or Unpleasant Taste in the Mouth

If you brush your teeth, use floss, and use breath mints but still can’t get rid of your halitosis (bad breath), the source may be an impacted wisdom tooth. When a tooth is partially erupted or comes in crooked, the area can become a breeding ground for bacteria. Food debris and bacteria may get caught around the base of the tooth, between teeth, and in soft tissue pockets. When these areas are difficult to clean, an infection can flourish, leading to foul-smelling breath or an unpleasant taste in the mouth. If the gums are bleeding, you may experience a metallic taste; if there is an infection, you may experience a strong, salty flavor.

If left untreated, any of these symptoms can progress, leading to a severe infection or difficulty opening and closing the mouth. It is important to have your impacted wisdom tooth removed before complications develop that may lead to permanent damage to adjacent teeth, jawbone, or gums.

There is no reason to put up with the symptoms of an infected wisdom tooth. If you have any symptoms of an impacted tooth or teeth, contact our office at Alaska Oral Surgery Group Office Phone Number 907-278-5678 to schedule an appointment for removal.

Please call us in with any questions or to schedule an appointment.

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