Possible consequences of impacted wisdom teeth
  • Pericoronitis
    Usually seen in the lower jaw
    Photograph showing an erupting lower wisdom tooth having its overlying gum red, swollen and bleeding. Animation showing an erupting lower wisdom tooth having its overlying periodontal tissues resorbed gradually until at the end the tissues become red and swollen.

    Food debris and bacteria are easily trapped in the space between the crown of the wisdom tooth and the overlying gingiva (gum), resulting in the infection of the surrounding tissues (Pericoronitis). Furthermore, the infected, swollen overlying gingiva is easily hurt by the opposing upper tooth making it difficult to recover.
  • Pericoronitis has the following signs and symptoms:

    • Pain and swelling of the cheek
      Photograph of a person with the left cheek swollen.
    • Difficulty in opening the mouth
    • Pain when swallowing
    • Swollen lymph nodes in the neck
    • Fever
    • Bad breath

  • Tooth decay

    Since it is difficult to clean the surfaces between the impacted tooth and the adjacent tooth in front, dental plaque will accumulate there and cause tooth decay on these tooth surfaces.

    Photograph of an impacted wisdom tooth growing slanted towards its adjacent tooth.  The adjacent surfaces of the teeth are decayed.

  • Root resorption of the neighbouring tooth

    The inflammation of the surrounding tissues caused by the dental plaque, together with the pressure of the wisdom tooth pushing on the adjacent tooth in front, may cause the root of the adjacent tooth to resorb.
    Photograph of an impacted wisdom tooth growing slanted towards its adjacent totoh.  The root of the adjacent tooth is resorbed. Photograph of an x-ray film showing an impacted wisdom tooth growing slanted towards its adjacent tooth the root of it is resorbed.

  • Causes pathological changes

    e.g. cysts
    Photograph of a x-ray film showing cyst formation caused by an impacted wisdom tooth.