Learning to Take Better Care of Your Family's Teeth

Signs Your Wisdom Teeth May Need To Be Removed

The wisdom teeth are typically your four last molars. They don't typically erupt until you are in your late teens or early 20s, and in some patients, they become impacted — which means they get caught beneath the gums and do not erupt at all. Most dentists will recommend that you have X-rays in your teens to determine whether or not your wisdom teeth need to be removed. But if you have not had X-rays, you should keep an eye out for these signs that your wisdom teeth are an issue and should be extracted.

Bleeding Gums

Usually, if your gums are bleeding, it is a sign of gingivitis or gum disease. But if it's the gums behind your last molars that keep bleeding, this could be due to your wisdom teeth struggling to erupt. Constantly having bleeding and sores in this area can put you at risk for infection, so it is not a good symptom to ignore.

Jaw Aches

If your wisdom teeth are impacted, they may be pushing on your back molars from underneath. This can cause you to feel pressure and pain in your jaw. Your jaw may ache, even if you have not eaten anything lately. You might find yourself taking pain relievers just to get through the day. The jaw pain may even start radiating into your head, leading to headaches. 

Difficulty Opening Your Mouth

The pain and aching may be accompanied by a stiffness that you notice most when you try to open your mouth. This is because the wisdom teeth are located far back in your jaw and can put pressure on the tendons and ligaments associated with the joints that form your jaw. Some people have trouble chewing, while others just struggle to open their mouths or chew.

Unpleasant Taste

If your mouth always tastes a little sour or unpleasant, this could be a sign that your impacted wisdom teeth are causing an infection. If you look closely at the spots behind your molars, you might notice what looks like a pimple. This is a bubble of pus that indicates an abscess, and what you are tasting might be the pus.

If you experience any of the symptoms above, make sure you visit the dentist soon. They can examine your mouth and take X-rays to determine whether your wisdom teeth need to be removed, and then, if needed, they can schedule you for the extraction. 

For more information on wisdom teeth removal, contact your dentist or an oral surgeon.