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Can Wisdom Teeth Affect Your Oral Health?

woman relaxing on couchAs your Parramatta family’s dental provider, we often get asked about wisdom teeth and how they can affect your oral health. Wisdom teeth, also known as third molars, are the last teeth to erupt. For most people, wisdom teeth usually appear between 17 and 25, give or take a few years. But because of their location in the back of your mouth, it’s common for issues such as swelling or impaction to occur.

What Are Impacted Wisdom Teeth?

When there is no space on the jawline for the wisdom teeth to erupt in the right position, they get trapped under the gum and stuck in the jaw. This condition is called impaction. This is when the wisdom teeth become problematic. They can lead to several oral issues when there is not enough space on the jawline to erupt in the right position. This is one of the significant reasons dentists suggest wisdom teeth removal to prevent other healthy teeth.

Why Removal Is Necessary

  • Pain. Impacted third molars tend to cause swelling and pressure, because of pressing against the adjacent teeth or bone. Intermittent discomfort is fairly common.
  • Infection. Wisdom teeth are highly susceptible to oral infections, particularly when a tooth is partially erupted. Because these back molars are difficult to clean, they are more prone to decay and periodontal disease.
  • Damage to other teeth. Decaying or infected wisdom teeth often pose a risk to neighbouring teeth, as infections may spread from one to the next. The pressure they create may also contribute to shifting and crowded teeth.
  • Cavities. Impacted wisdom teeth are prone to dental decay because swollen gums can create pockets between teeth that become the breeding ground for bacteria. As a result, it can lead to cavities. You may lose the tooth due to dental decay.
  • Jaw damage. Jaw and jaw joint (TMJ) pain are fairly common during wisdom tooth development. Since gum inflammation is common, some people find it more difficult to open and close their jaw or experience facial swelling.

Symptoms of Wisdom Tooth Complications

Some of the most common symptoms of infected or impacted wisdom teeth include pain and swelling in the gums or jaw, swelling on the side of the face, difficulty opening the mouth, irritated gums and bad breath. Additionally, some people may experience headaches and earaches.

Know When to See a Dentist

If you or your teen are experiencing any symptoms of wisdom tooth eruption or impaction, it is important to see our dentist for an exam. We will examine your teeth and gums, sometimes taking an X-ray if needed, and determine whether you need your wisdom teeth removed. Depending on their position and if they are impacted, wisdom tooth removal surgery may help alleviate your symptoms and prevent further dental issues.

Reserve an Exam Today

Contact us today to reserve a wisdom tooth exam and consultation. We’ll be happy to answer any questions you have!


Any invasive or surgical procedure may carry risks. Before moving forward, it is recommended that you seek a second opinion from an appropriately licensed medical professional.

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