How To Know If You Have Impacted Wisdom Teeth And What To Do

Wisdom teeth complete the set of 32 teeth most adults have. Also known as the third molars, one wisdom tooth come through in each corner of the mouth. They typically emerge during a person’s late teenage years to his or her early 20’s.

When wisdom teeth fail to normally erupt — meaning they come through at a different angle or they don’t come through at all — they are considered to be impacted. In most cases, this situation brings discomfort and pain to the individual. An oral surgeon Fairfax VA typically recommend having the impacted wisdom teeth removed.

Here are some of the most common symptoms you need to watch out for:

Swollen and/or bleeding gums

Jaw pain

Bad breath

Difficulty in opening your mouth

When you experience the abovementioned symptoms, consult with your dentist immediately. Know that untreated impacted wisdom teeth can give way to the following complications:


Impacted wisdom teeth are usually more difficult to clean compared with your other teeth. The presence of unremoved or uncleared food debris and bacteria increases the risk of decay.

Damage to other teeth

When a wisdom tooth emerges at a different angle (e.g. It’s slightly leaning toward your second molar), it can cause damage to its neighboring tooth. There’s a risk of infection and crowding that can affect the alignment of your set of teeth.

Gum disease

A wisdom tooth that has only partially erupted can lead to a painful inflammation of your gums. You can develop gum disease because of the bacteria that thrive in this rather difficult-to-clean area of your mouth.


When the sac where your wisdom tooth develops is filled with fluid, it will start to form a cyst that can pose danger to your teeth, mouth and overall dental health.

Diagnosis and Treatment

For a dentist or an oral surgeon Fairfax VA to properly diagnose your condition, he or she would need to conduct an evaluation of your mouth. Apart from taking dental x-rays and examining your teeth and gums, questions will also be asked to know more about your oral health.

If you’re proven to have impacted wisdom teeth and they are already causing other dental problems, surgical removal is typically recommended. You will be eligible for such operation if you’ve already developed one of the four complications we’ve mentioned in the previous section.

A tooth removal surgery can be done in one day. Nonetheless, expect that you may experience the following days after your surgery:



Swelling of the affected site

Trouble in opening your mouth

Infection or dryness of the socket

Damage to neighboring tooth/teeth

Regularly consult with your dentist or oral surgeon Fairfax VA so he or she monitors how you are coping up after the operation.

When impacted wisdom teeth haven’t caused any other damage or haven’t shown any symptom, your condition is said to be asymptomatic.

Regarding this case, the medical community is still debating which type of treatment would work best. While some argue that removal is important to avoid any damage in the future, others call for a more conservative method. This involves consistent monitoring for possible complications and taking surgical actions only once damage actually arises.

Whether you need a simple tooth extraction, impacted wisdom teeth removed, or perhaps need dental implants, our oral surgeon Fairfax VA at Northern Virginia Oral, Maxillofacial & Implant Surgery is ready to help. Contact us today!

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