Signs That Mean Your Wisdom Teeth May Need to Come Out

Dentist Blog

Wisdom teeth extractions often relieve pain and make more space in your mouth so that your other teeth don't get crowded. Overcrowding can lead to overlapping teeth, which can raise your risk for gum disease and tooth loss. Getting rid of plaque is more difficult when teeth are too close together. Discuss the need for wisdom tooth removal with your dentist, but in the meantime, here are some telltale signs that they need to be removed.

Jaw Problems

If your jaw feels stiff, or if you have problems opening and closing your mouth, your wisdom teeth may need to come out. Jaw stiffness and problems with mobility may mean that your wisdom teeth are impacted or impinging on nerves or muscles.

While other factors can play a role in jaw stiffness such as tooth grinding, osteoarthritis, and even certain medication side effects, make an appointment with your dentist for a panoramic X-ray of your teeth. While jaw problems may be more common when upper wisdom teeth are impacted, they can develop as a result of impacted bottom teeth. Taking over-the-counter pain relievers can help improve your symptoms, but they are only a temporary solution. Once your wisdom teeth are removed, you will most likely regain full mobility of your jaw. 

Nasal Congestion

Impacted wisdom teeth, especially upper wisdom teeth, can cause nasal congestion. You may also experience frequent sinus infections that are resistant to antibiotic therapy. Impacted wisdom teeth put pressure on your sinuses, and in addition to nasal congestion, you may develop thick, discoloured mucus, a bad taste in your mouth, pain or pressure in your cheeks, postnasal drip, a cough, or a sore throat.

In addition, dental impactions can impair effective sinus drainage, and when mucus cannot freely drain from your sinus cavity, bacteria will multiply in your nasal cavity. If you get repeated sinus infections, get a dental examination. Sinus problems can be related to your wisdom teeth even in the absence of tooth pain. If your teeth become severely impacted, your facial nerve may become inflamed, causing numbness, tingling and burning sensations on your face.

If you have difficulty opening and closing your mouth, jaw stiffness, problems chewing, or if you get frequent sinus infections, make an appointment with your dentist for a comprehensive checkup. If he or she determines that your wisdom teeth need to come out, you may be referred to an oral surgeon for wisdom teeth extractions to find relief. 


23 September 2019