About five million Americans undergo wisdom tooth extraction each year. In fact, 45% of all oral surgery cases involve removing them. About 10 million wisdom teeth are removed annually.

Though 70% will need removal at some point during their lifetime, many Americans can’t recognize they have an impacted wisdom tooth.

Here are seven signs you need emergency wisdom tooth removal. If these symptoms sound familiar, visit our oral & cosmetic surgery center right away!

1. Pain and Swelling

One of the most obvious signs you require wisdom teeth removal is pain.

You could experience pain when speaking, eating, or smiling. The pain could feel similar to that of a toothache. While the pain can seem dull at first, it can become strong and persistent over time. 

Take painkillers when you first experience pain in your mouth. Try brushing and flossing your teeth as well. If the pain doesn’t subside, schedule an appointment.

Your oral surgeon can schedule X-rays. Let your surgeon know if the pain ranges from mild to severe. 

An experienced oral surgeon can determine the root cause of the problem. For example, it’s possible you have a cavity or gum disease. If the pain is originating from the back of your mouth, the issue is likely your wisdom teeth.

Pain can also radiate to other areas of your mouth.

You could have an infection in the area of your wisdom tooth, which requires extraction. An infection can also cause redness, pain, and swelling. Swelling could lead to “chipmunk cheeks” if your gums swell so much that bulging is visible. 

These symptoms could also indicate you have gum disease (gingivitis). When left untreated, gum disease can progress to its advanced stage, periodontitis. Periodontitis could cause you to lose teeth if you don’t seek treatment. 

Don’t hesitate to seek help if you experience difficulty drinking, eating, or speaking due to the pain. 

2. Bleeding Gums

Your gums could start bleeding if you neglect your oral health care. It’s possible you’ve developed gingivitis. Gingivitis is a bacterial infection that occurs due to plaque overgrowth.

Other symptoms of gingivitis include:

  • Red, tender, or swollen gums
  • Foul-smelling breath
  • Sensitive teeth
  • Pain when chewing
  • Pus between your teeth and gums
  • A change in how your teeth fit together
  • Loose teeth
  • Gums that have pulled away from your teeth

If you experience these symptoms, visit a dentist. It’s important to reverse gingivitis while in its early stages.

You likely need wisdom tooth removal if you experience bleeding gums and other symptoms mentioned in this guide. 

3. Cavities

Plaque is a sticky substance that forms when bacteria, saliva, and food particles mix. When you fail to brush and floss properly, a cavity could form. Cavity symptoms include sensitivity, pain, and staining.

You might also develop a visible hole in a tooth. 

Since they sit at the back of your mouth, wisdom teeth are hard to clean. You could struggle to brush and floss them thoroughly. As a result, plaque could form and release acid, leading to cavities.

You may not realize you have a cavity if you neglect to schedule routine dental cleanings. If you experience pain or develop a wisdom tooth infection, schedule an appointment. Your dentist may determine you need oral surgery right away. 

4. Crowding

While you may have straight teeth as a child, you may notice your teeth have become crooked as you grow older. This indicates your wisdom teeth are growing in and crowding your jaw. 

As the largest molars in your mouth, wisdom teeth need plenty of space to grow.

To gain more space, your wisdom teeth may push other teeth. They can also cause constant pressure, causing crowded, crooked teeth.

If you’re unhappy with the appearance of your smile due to crooked teeth, talk to an oral surgeon. They might recommend wisdom teeth removal. 

You can begin treatment with braces or Invisalign to straighten your teeth once your wisdom teeth are removed. 

It’s important to have your wisdom teeth checked as soon as they come in. If you let them grow when there’s no room for them, they can push your teeth together. Crowding issues can lead to other complications, including malocclusion. 

You may notice a change in how your teeth fit together when you bite down. This indicates your wisdom teeth emerged improperly. In addition to pain, you could experience stiffness in your jaw.

Schedule oral surgery immediately before the misalignment causes additional issues.

5. Partial Eruption

Wisdom teeth usually erupt (push through your gums) when you’re in your late teens or early 20s. When wisdom teeth grow in fully, but don’t have enough room on your jaw to erupt, a partial eruption occurs. Teeth that have partially erupted are prone to infection.

They’re also more difficult to clean. Food and bacteria can collect under the excess gum tissue, leading to a wisdom tooth infection. 

Visit your local oral surgeon if your wisdom teeth have partially erupted. 

6. Cysts

If you neglect to seek treatment for your wisdom teeth, cysts will begin to form in your mouth.

Cysts are fluid-filled sacs. When left untreated, cysts in the jawbone can damage surrounding bone and oral tissue. You will likely need an emergency extraction to avoid additional damage. 

If you’ve developed cysts in your mouth, your wisdom teeth likely need to be removed.

7. Sinus Pressure

You could feel some pressure on your sinuses as your wisdom teeth sprout and grow roots in your jaw. Accompanying symptoms include headaches, congestion, and sinus pain. 

You may also experience pain and discomfort in your mouth or jaw. The pain can radiate toward your head, causing earaches or headaches. 

Schedule Emergency Wisdom Tooth Removal

If these oral health issues sound familiar, don’t hesitate to schedule an appointment with an oral surgeon. They can determine if you need emergency wisdom tooth removal.

Scheduling the procedure can help you avoid complications, including cavities, pain, and inflammation. You can improve your oral health and the appearance of your smile.

Need to schedule oral surgery? We’re here for you. 

Schedule an appointment at Legacy Oral & Facial Surgery today for treatment.