Did you know that about 5 million people in the United States have their wisdom teeth removed annually? This common dental procedure is often necessary due to wisdom tooth infections.
This common dental problem occurs when the third molars become infected. These teeth are located at the back of your mouth and typically emerge between the ages of 17 and 25.
In this document, we will discuss the different types of wisdom tooth infection symptoms that you should be aware of. Continue reading to learn more.
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Pain and Swelling in the Back of Your Mouth
This can occur when there isn’t enough room for the wisdom teeth to fully emerge. The pain can range from mild discomfort to severe and persistent pain. In some cases, the swelling may be accompanied by a fever.
If you experience these symptoms, it is important to consult with your dentist as soon as possible. They will be able to diagnose the issue and determine if extraction is necessary.
Difficulty Opening Your Mouth
Another common symptom of wisdom tooth infection is difficulty or pain while opening your mouth. This can be caused by inflammation and swelling in the surrounding tissue.
In some cases, the infection may also cause stiffness in the jaw. This makes it difficult to fully open your mouth. This can also make eating and speaking uncomfortable.
When bacteria accumulate around an infected wisdom tooth, it can lead to bad breath. This is caused by the buildup of pus and other debris that cannot be easily removed. This can also lead to a bad taste in your mouth.
If you notice persistent bad breath even after brushing and flossing regularly, it could be a sign of an infected wisdom tooth. Make sure to schedule an appointment with your dentist for a proper evaluation.
Headaches and Earaches
A tooth infection can also cause headaches and earaches. This is because the inflammation and pain from the infected tooth can radiate to other areas of your head and face. The pain may be felt in the temples, forehead, or even behind your eyes.
It can also cause earaches due to the proximity of the teeth to the ear canal. If you are experiencing the symptoms, it may be worth checking with your dentist. This is to see if an infected wisdom tooth could be the culprit.
Bleeding or Discharge
When an infection is present, there may be some bleeding or discharge around the infected wisdom tooth. This is due to inflammation and tissue damage caused by the infection.
The discharge may be pus, which is a sign of a serious infection and requires immediate attention. It is advisable to schedule an appointment with your dentist without delay. This will help prevent the infection from spreading further.
Swollen Lymph Nodes
The lymph nodes in your neck and throat may become swollen when your body is fighting off an infection. You may notice that the glands under your jaw or in your neck appear larger than usual or are tender to the touch. This is an indication that your body is reacting to an infection, and a dentist should evaluate it.
Ignoring these signs can lead to serious complications. This can include the spread of the infection to other teeth or even your bloodstream. It is crucial to seek treatment for a wisdom tooth infection as soon as possible.
Unusual Sensitivity to Hot and Cold
An infected wisdom tooth may also cause sensitivity to hot and cold food and beverages. This is because the infection may have reached the pulp. This is the innermost part of the tooth that contains nerves and blood vessels.
The sensitivity may be a sharp, sudden pain that occurs when you consume something hot or cold. This symptom should not be ignored, as it can indicate a serious problem with the wisdom tooth.
Change in Taste or Loss of Appetite
An infected wisdom tooth could lead to a subtle or drastic change in your sense of taste. This makes certain foods and drinks taste differently than they usually do. The discomfort and pain from the infection might also reduce your desire to eat, leading to loss of appetite.
It is important to keep track of any changes in your taste or eating habits. This will help your dentist accurately diagnose and treat any wisdom tooth infection.
Persistent Sore Throat
A persistent sore throat or a feeling like something is stuck at the back of your throat can also be a sign of a wisdom tooth infection. This may be due to the swelling and inflammation caused by the infection. This can affect the throat area, leading to discomfort and difficulty swallowing.
Sore throat and difficulty swallowing can also be caused by other health issues. If you experience these signs of tooth infection, it is best to consult with your dentist for a proper diagnosis.
Prolonged Sinus Issues
Believe it or not, problems with your wisdom teeth can lead to sinus issues. If your upper wisdom teeth become infected, it can cause or exacerbate sinus pain, pressure, and congestion. This is because the roots of these teeth are located near the sinus cavity.
If you have a history of sinus issues and suddenly experience a flare-up, it may be worth getting your wisdom teeth checked. An infection in this area could be contributing to your discomfort.
Chronic Cough or Throat Irritation
If an infection spreads or isn’t addressed quickly, it can lead to a chronic cough or throat irritation. This is due to the body’s attempt to expel bacteria and alleviate the infection.
If you have been experiencing a persistent cough or throat irritation, it is worth consulting with your dentist to rule out an infected wisdom tooth as the cause. This can help prevent the infection from worsening and causing further complications.
You might notice red, swollen gums that may be sensitive or painful to touch. In some cases, the inflamed gums may even bleed when you brush or floss. This is a sign that there is an infection present in the gum tissue surrounding the wisdom tooth.
Inflamed gums can also be a symptom of other oral health issues. It is important to consult with your dentist for an accurate diagnosis and treatment plan.
Pain and discomfort caused by a wisdom tooth infection might make it hard for you to focus on the tasks at hand. This symptom is more pronounced if the infection is severe or if it has been left untreated for a long time.
If you find yourself having difficulty concentrating or experiencing brain fog, it may be worth checking with your dentist to see if an infected wisdom tooth is the root cause. Proper treatment can help alleviate this symptom and improve your overall well-being.
Changes in the Alignment of Teeth
In some cases, an infected wisdom tooth can lead to changes in the alignment of your teeth. This is most likely to occur if the infection has caused the wisdom tooth to shift position. This exerts pressure on the surrounding teeth and causes them to move.
If you notice changes in your bite or the alignment of your teeth, it is important to consult with your dentist. This can prevent further damage and address any underlying issues.
Nausea or Vomiting
An infection can cause nausea or vomiting in some people. This happens when the body reacts to the infection. Feeling nauseous or vomiting can also be a reaction to the pain or discomfort caused by an infected wisdom tooth. This symptom is a sign that the infection may have spread beyond the wisdom tooth and requires prompt treatment.
In some cases, an infected wisdom tooth can lead to unintentional weight loss. This is often due to difficulty eating or loss of appetite caused by the infection.
If you have recently lost weight without trying, it is worth addressing with your dentist. This can help identify the underlying cause. This can also ensure you receive the necessary treatment to improve your oral health and well-being.
Pain often intensifies during the night. This makes it hard to get a good night’s sleep. If you are experiencing trouble sleeping or find yourself waking up in the middle of the night due to wisdom tooth pain, it could be a sign of infection.
It is important to address this issue with your dentist. This can help alleviate any discomfort and improve your quality of sleep. They may also recommend over-the-counter pain relievers to help you sleep better.
The infection can cause inflammation in the jawbone, gums, or salivary glands, leading to a swollen face or cheek. This can be uncomfortable and even painful. The swelling may also make it difficult to fully open your mouth or chew.
The body may produce more saliva to help flush away the bacteria and infection from the wisdom tooth area. This can cause an increase in salivation, leading to constant drooling. This can be bothersome and affect your daily activities.
Increased Heart Rate
In some instances, the body’s response to an infection could result in an increased heart rate or palpitations. This is because the body is trying to fight off the infection and its associated inflammation.
It can be alarming to experience an increased heart rate, especially if you have no history of heart-related issues. If this symptom persists, it is important to consult with your dentist or physician for a proper evaluation.
The affected tooth may become darkened or stained due to the infection. This is a result of the decay and destruction caused by the bacteria. If left untreated, it could lead to tooth discoloration or even complete tooth loss.
Make sure to schedule an appointment with your dentist if you notice any changes in the color or appearance of your wisdom tooth. Early treatment can help prevent further damage and preserve your oral health.
This happens when the infection spreads to the sinus cavity which is located near the eyes. The inflammation and pressure from the infection can cause your eyes to become irritated, red, or watery.
It can also cause sensitivity to light and difficulty seeing clearly. This could be a sign that the infection has spread and needs immediate attention.
Loss of Hearing
In rare cases, an upper wisdom tooth infection can spread to your ear and cause temporary loss of hearing. This might include a muffled sound or ringing in your ears. The infection can also cause pain in your ear.
If you experience any changes in your hearing, it is important to consult with your physician for proper evaluation and treatment. They can rule out any underlying issues and recommend appropriate care for an infected wisdom tooth.
Unusual Thirst or Dry Mouth
An infected wisdom tooth can lead to unusual thirst or dry mouth due to the body’s response to the infection. This could be due to an increased body temperature from the infection. It could also be a response from the body trying to flush out toxins.
This symptom shouldn’t be ignored, as it could lead to dehydration and other health issues if left untreated. Make sure to stay hydrated and consult with your dentist for proper treatment.
It is important to choose a reliable dentist for your oral health needs. Regular dental check-ups can help identify and treat any issues with wisdom teeth before they become more severe.
Knowing the Wisdom Tooth Infection Symptoms
There are various types of wisdom tooth infection symptoms that you should be aware of. Knowing them can help you identify and address any potential issues early on before they lead to serious complications.
Make sure to consult with your dentist if you experience any of the symptoms discussed in this document. Remember, prevention is always better than cure, so make sure to maintain good oral hygiene. Your smile and wisdom tooth health will thank you in the long run.
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