Special problems of impacted wisdom teeth
It cannot simply be said of impacted wisdom teeth, “Let sleeping dogs lie.” Impacted wisdom teeth can cause problems. In the following illustrations, only lower wisdom teeth are shown, but the same problems can occur with upper wisdom teeth.
• Gum infection
Infection of the gum around an impacted wisdom tooth is very common. The back teeth are the hardest to clean, so it is easy for food particles and bacteria to work their way down behind the second molar. Then an infection starts around the crown of the impacted wisdom tooth. The gum may swell up, and there may be a great deal of pain.
People often mistake repeated soreness of the gum over a wisdom tooth as an effort by the tooth to erupt. Rather, it may be a warning that there is trouble brewing.