Your wisdom teeth are late bloomers. While most of your adult teeth debuted during childhood, wisdom teeth wait to make an appearance until the late teen years or early 20s. In fact, they take so long to come in that many teens and young adults don’t think about the fact that they have a third set of molars.

Assuming the wisdom teeth come in with no issues, that’s no big deal. But if any of these extra molars are impacted, it can pose a serious problem. An impacted tooth means it can’t grow in the way it should. That can cause pain, oral infections, tooth crowding, and more.

At A&N Dental in Tempe, Arizona, we offer wisdom teeth extractions to remove impacted wisdom teeth and protect your smile. But it’s important to know the warning signs of an impacted wisdom tooth so you can be on the watch for it at home.

With that goal in mind, we’ve compiled some of the top symptoms. Here are three to watch for.

#1: Mouth pain

If you feel discomfort when you open or close your mouth or when you chew, it could be a sign of an impacted wisdom tooth. General jaw pain can also indicate a tooth is impacted. This is especially true if that pain is localized toward the back of your mouth by your molars.

#2: Bad breath or a bad taste in your mouth

It might seem odd that a tooth that hasn’t fully grown in yet could cause bad breath, but it’s true. When a tooth is impacted, it’s all but impossible to properly clean. Additionally, the tooth can trap food at the back of your mouth, further worsening your breath.

These issues can also lead to a bad taste in your mouth.

If your breath has taken a turn for the worse, or you’re experiencing an unexplained unpleasant taste, an impacted tooth could be to blame. Visit our office so we can take a look and help you address the issue.

#3: Irritated gums

As we mentioned, when your tooth is impacted, it’s hard to keep your mouth clean. This can allow bacteria to breed, contributing to gum disease. At first, gum disease might not seem like a big deal. Your gums might seem just a little red or more prone to bleeding. But left untreated, gingivitis (mild gum disease) can develop into periodontitis, a more serious disease that can even lead to tooth loss.

These are a few of the warning signs of an impacted wisdom tooth, but some teeth can be impacted without causing symptoms, too. If you’re between the ages of 17 and 25 or you have a child who is, visit A&N Dental on a regular basis so we can keep an eye on your wisdom teeth as they grow in. To schedule your visit, call our office in Tempe, Arizona, or book your appointment online today.