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How To Know If Your Wisdom Tooth Is Infected

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When Should I Seek Care For Impacted Wisdom Teeth

Infections after Wisdom Teeth Removal

If you have pain or other symptoms affecting the area behind your last molar, schedule an appointment with your dentist. They can determine if your issues are due to impacted wisdom teeth.

A note from Cleveland Clinic

Impacted wisdom teeth can cause a wide range of symptoms, including swelling, bad taste and pain that radiates throughout your jaw and face. Wisdom teeth removal is a common oral surgery procedure that can ease your symptoms and reduce the risk of future oral health problems. Talk with your dentist about whether this treatment is right for you.

Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 01/21/2022.


Wisdom Tooth Extraction Infection

Wisdom teeth are the final set of molars that we develop, usually in our late teens or early twenties . When it comes to wisdom teeth, people are differentyou can have anywhere from one to four wisdom teeth grow in. Usually as wisdom teeth erupt, they grow in crooked or crowd your existing teeth if there isnt enough room for the new molars to fit comfortably in your mouth.

In most cases, dentists recommend that people have their wisdom teeth extracted to prevent future problems such as infection, tooth crowding, jaw damage, cavities, sinus issues, and more.

Occasionally, people will get an infection after having their wisdom teeth removed. It is normal to experience some pain and swelling after having your wisdom teeth removed, but you may have a wisdom teeth removal infection if you experience the following symptoms more than 3 days after your surgery:

  • Pain and swelling

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Infected Wisdom Tooth Symptoms

When you get an infection in a wisdom tooth or in the gum around the wisdom tooth it can be tough to know if its an infection because the symptoms of a wisdom tooth infection can also be symptoms of other problems. A good rule of thumb is to assume that if you have two or more of the following symptoms it could be an infection, and if you have three or more of these symptoms¹ see your doctor or dentist right away to see if you do have an infection and need treatment. Some of the most common infected wisdom tooth symptoms are:

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An Impacted Wisdom Tooth

Impaction happens when a persons jaw has insufficient room for a wisdom tooth to erupt, in a situation referred to as tooth crowding.

Wisdom teeth may only emerge partially from the gum line or they can become trapped beneath it.

Either way, this can lead to inflammation of the gums and infection around the wisdom teeth. Sometimes soft tissue forms over the partially erupted wisdom tooth and is known as an operculum.

An operculum isnt always good for your mouth because it tends to trap food particles causing bacteria to thrive. This, in turn, causes an infection which is often followed by an abscess that forms beneath the operculum. If the abscess isnt treated, the infection spreads and progresses into pericoronitis. In severe cases, this can be extremely painful leaving the patient to call for an emergency dentist.

How To Deal With An Infected Wisdom Tooth

How To Tell If Wisdom Tooth Infected

This article was medically reviewed by Tu Anh Vu, DMD. Dr. Tu Anh Vu is a board certified dentist who runs her private practice, Tus Dental, in Brooklyn, New York. Dr. Vu helps adults and kids of all ages get over their anxiety with dental phobia. Dr. Vu has conducted research related to finding the cure for Kaposi Sarcoma cancer and has presented her research at the Hinman Meeting in Memphis. She received her undergraduate degree from Bryn Mawr College and a DMD from the University of Pennsylvania School of Dental Medicine.There are 13 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page. This article has been viewed 281,004 times.

Experts agree that you need to see a dentist if youre experiencing any wisdom tooth pain to see if your tooth is infected.XTrustworthy SourceNational Health Service Public healthcare system of the UKGo to source Your wisdom teeth are usually your last teeth to come in, though a few people dont have them. Research suggests that some wisdom tooth infections occur when your tooth becomes trapped under your gums, but they can also happen because its harder to clean your back teeth. While an infected wisdom tooth can be painful, your dentist can help you get relief.

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Wisdom Tooth Infection Common Symptoms

You may have an infection in a wisdom tooth if you are suffering from any of the problems listed below:

  • Pain in the jaw or the side of the face
  • Pain in or around the tooth
  • Swollen lymph glands
  • Difficulty opening the mouth

If you are experiencing any of the above problems, then we recommend you visit your dentist right away.

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Disease Decay And More

The process can become more complicated when wisdom teeth have only partially come in, allowing bacteria to collect under the gum line so that an infection develops. This type of infection is what usually causes more serious symptoms.

The flap covering the tooth can cause pain and become swollen, leading to a condition called pericoronitis.

Gum disease is also a risk with impacted wisdom teeth, and if the condition is properly treated, the loss of bone and other teeth can occur. Like your other teeth, an impacted wisdom tooth can also become decayed or form decay on the back of the second molar, possibly exposing the nerves.

An impacted wisdom tooth may also develop a cyst or tumor, causing further symptoms and potentially serious complications, such as the loss of tooth or bone.

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Signs That Wisdom Teeth Are Coming In

A dental X-ray may be the first indication that your wisdom teeth are on their way. In particular, a panoramic X-ray that captures all of the teeth and jaws in one image can reveal the position of your wisdom teeth and if theyre close to coming in.

Without an X-ray, you may know your wisdom teeth are coming in because youre starting to notice some unpleasant symptoms. Some common indications your wisdom teeth are about to break through include:

  • swelling of the gums, usually behind your second molars
  • difficulty opening your mouth wide
  • a bad taste in your mouth

The pain is usually mild, but you may experience an occasional stab of sharp pain. It may also be painful or uncomfortable to chew using the molars near where your wisdom teeth are about to come through.

These symptoms are usually due to wisdom teeth being impacted, which means theyre stuck under the gum or dont have enough space to fully break through.

Research suggests that impacted wisdom teeth have the potential to cause inflammatory dental disease, which may harm nearby teeth and jawbone.

If your wisdom teeth are actually breaking through the gums, you may experience a low-grade fever. You may also notice a small flap of gum, known as a pericoronal flap, over the area of the emerging tooth.

What Can Be Done For Treating Wisdom Tooth Infection

How To Alleviate Infected Wisdom Tooth

Once a patient has been diagnosed with an infection in their wisdom teeth, the dentist can then offer solutions. In most cases, patients may have their wisdom teeth removed during simple or surgical extraction, especially if the tooth is impacted. However, patients may also ask about taking antibiotics and treating the tooth as opposed to removal. Our dentist will educate patients on which solution is best for their situation.

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Wisdom Tooth Infection What Causes It And How We Treat It

While on the one hand, you may be looking forward to getting your wisdom teeth through, you probably know that they have a reputation for causing disruption in the mouth. One common problem is wisdom tooth infection, but what causes it and what should you be looking out for? Lets dive in and take a closer look.

Wisdom teeth normally make an appearance in the late teens or early twenties and because they are the last set of teeth to arrive, there often isnt sufficient room in the mouth to accommodate them.

As a result, they end up jostling for space, erupting at awkward angles, pushing into neighbouring teeth and sometimes getting stuck in the gums when theyre referred to as impacted wisdom teeth.

Each of these issues has the potential to trigger an infection.

So what are the symptoms, how do you know if you have a problem with a wisdom tooth?

How Long Can A Tooth Infection Go Untreated

If you wait too long to treat a tooth infection, it can begin spreading to other areas of your body, including the neck, head, or jaw. A general dentist must professionally drain an abscessed tooth by extracting it or performing a root canal.

Usually, this includes draining pus and bacteria, which is why some people are actually unaware they have an infection. It is unpredictable to determine how long a dental abscess will drain until it stops and causes facial cellulitis .

You should never pop or squeeze an abscess because the infection can be pushed deeper into the tissues of your mouth.

Risks of not treating a tooth infection promptly:

  • Infection of the blood vessels inside the sinuses
  • Bone infection surrounding the tooth
  • Parapharyngeal abscess


If you don’t receive prompt treatment for an abscess, it can lead to tooth loss, additional infections, sepsis, and even a brain abscess . Never pop an abscess.

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When To See Your Dentist

If your pain persists for more than 3 or 4 days or you are experiencing swelling, then pay a visit to your dentist. He or she will identify the cause of the problem and suggest the best treatment.

Whatever you do, dont delay visiting a dentist until the pain becomes severe or you develop significant swelling. Often, when this happens a person can require emergency care.

Whether your wisdom teeth have yet to come through or you are experiencing discomfort, get in touch with experienced dentists at No Gaps Dental.

Book online or call us on today to schedule a consultation.

Note: Any surgical or invasive procedure carries risks.

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Minimal Discomfort Wisdom Tooth Removal In Colleyville Tx


Let Dr. Tye at Texas Oral Surgery Specialists guide you through wisdom tooth care with as little pain as possible. When necessary, Dr. Tye will gently and effectively remove the wisdom teeth to relieve you of any pain or discomfort from an infection. Call 552-3223 or conveniently book a consultation through our website today.


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How To Tell If Your Wisdom Teeth Stitches Are Infected

You may be wondering if your wisdom teeth stitches are infected or not. Here are a couple of signs that may indicate that they could be infected:

  • Presence of purulence

  • Area looks reddish

  • Inflamed and swollen

If you see pus, then it is a definitive sign that it is infected. The other three symptoms and signs may indicate that it could be but not necessarily.

You can just be on the lookout for any pus. Its a white fluid so its hard to miss. The area may still be slightly oozing blood which is red and that is normal. It is when you see the color white mixed in that you should be concerned.

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How Do Impacted Wisdom Teeth Affect My Oral Health

Impacted wisdom teeth can cause pain, infection and damage to other teeth. Wisdom teeth are also difficult to clean. As a result, theyre more prone to tooth decay and gum disease.

Can impacted wisdom teeth cause headaches?

Yes. In some cases, impacted wisdom teeth can cause radiating pain in your jaw, face and head.

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What Causes Wisdom Tooth Infections

Because of their location in the far back of your mouth, wisdom teeth can be hard to see and difficult to keep clean. This can provide an opportunity for infection.

Wisdom tooth infections can begin in various ways:

  • Impacted wisdom teeth are difficult to clean. This allows bacteria to fester and accumulate.
  • Pericoronitis occurs when the soft tissue surrounding a partially erupted wisdom tooth becomes infected.
  • Periodontitis occurs when the gum tissue around a fully erupted tooth becomes infected, causing bone and tissue loss.
  • A cavity in the wisdom tooth may cause an infection.

All of these causes create easy places for bacteria to accumulate.

Pericoronitis is an especially common complication of impacted or partially erupted wisdom teeth. The gingival tissue around the tooth forms a flap or protrusion that can collect bacteria.

As many as 1 in 4 people with impacted but otherwise asymptomatic wisdom teeth may have some form of gum disease.1 The number of wisdom teeth that become infected, however, may be lower.

You Have Shaking And Chills

Wisdom Teeth Explained (Pain, Symptoms, & Extractions)

Most often, you will experience chills in addition to a fever. However, if you take your temperature and it turns out to be normalâwhich should be between 97.9 â and 100.4 ââyou do not have a fever.

However, chills usually precede a fever and can indicate that you may be on your way to developing one. As such, if you have chills and shaking without any apparent reasonâin addition to the above symptomsâthen it may be that you have a wisdom tooth infection.

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In Some Cases Patients Might Also Experience An Ear Infection After Extraction

How to know if a wisdom tooth is infected. You need to immediately seek your dentists help at the first sign of any of the tooth extraction infection symptoms. These should not be taken lightly as they may escalate to other dental. After the dental surgery, there are a few things to expect.

A wisdom tooth that doesnât entirely come in can become infected, causing a condition known as pericoronitis. You have a high temperature within the week following the procedure. This includes pain and discomfort in the area, as well as the surrounding muscles such as the jaw, neck, and throat.

People normally have four wisdom teeth, according to the better health channel, with one tooth on the top and bottom of each side of the mouth 1. The wisdom teeth, and the gums surrounding your wisdom teeth, can become infected. Wisdom tooth pain may also be caused by decay, so look for an obvious hole.

Like any other wound in the body, the hole where a wisdom tooth was extracted can become infected. In fact, having an infected wisdom tooth is a common symptom associated with impacted wisdom teeth. Dentists diagnose pericoronitis by carefully examining your wisdom teeth and checking for visual signs and symptoms of pericoronitis.

For very rare cases, a deep neck infection in the cervical vertebrae may occur after tooth extraction. How is an infected wisdom tooth diagnosed? What to expect after wisdom tooth removal or a dental surgery.

Pain in or around the tooth.

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Can A Bad Tooth Cause Inner Ear Problems

Can a Tooth Infection Cause Inner Ear Problems? Symptoms of an underlying dental infection can also be felt in other organs in the head and neck region. For example, pain caused by tooth infection can also be felt in the ears. However, currently, there is no evidence that a tooth infection can spread to the inner ear.

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Discharge And Foul Odor

The gum tissue surrounding an infected wisdom tooth will often seep pus into the mouth. Even if you dont see the pus, youll notice an unpleasant taste in your mouth and bad breath. Rinsing with warm saltwater can provide temporary relief, but this symptom usually persists until the infected wisdom tooth is removed.

Care After Surgery For Removal Of Wisdom Teeth

Wisdom Teeth Removal Hervey Bay

Your oral health professional will talk with you about how to care for your mouth after having a wisdom tooth taken out. Some general suggestions include:

  • Take pain-relieving medication if needed .
  • Bite on the gauze to help stop bleeding, and other instructions that you may be given after the tooth is removed.
  • Avoid excessive rinsing, sucking through a straw or spitting as that can cause the blot clot to not form, or come loose.
  • Hold warm salty water in your mouth. Do this after meals and no earlier than 24 hours after surgery.
  • Eat soft, easy-to-chew foods for the next few days to keep the area clean from food particles.
  • Dont smoke for 48 hours after the surgery.
  • Avoid alcohol and excessive physical activity.

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What Does It Mean If You Have Pressure In Your Ear

Ear pressure can occur due to sinus congestion, infections, or TMJ damage, among other conditions. It can also occur as a result of situational factors, such as changes in altitude or having a foreign body stuck inside the ear. Some causes of ear pressure are treatable using OTC medications and home remedies.

How Do I Stop My Jaw And Ear From Hurting

Home remedies

  • Change your diet to incorporate more soft foods.
  • Stop chewing gum or other objects, such as the ends of pens or pencils.
  • Relax and rest your jaw.
  • Use a warm or cold compress to the jaw.
  • Perform exercises that stretch the jaw, including slowly opening and closing your mouth several times.
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