Signs You Have An Infected Impacted Wisdom Tooth

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If you have an impacted wisdom tooth that you know should be removed, you run the risk of the tooth becoming infected. While you wait for your appointment with your dentist for a tooth extraction, be on the lookout for the following signs that you may have an infected wisdom tooth.

Pain in the Back of Your Mouth and Jaw

If you have an impacted wisdom tooth, one of the first symptoms that alerted you to the problem was most likely the pain caused by it pushing against your other teeth. However, if the tooth becomes infected, you may notice some changes in the intensity and frequency of the pain.

If your tooth is infected, you will start feeling an increase in your pain that tends to be present all of the time, not only when you eat or bite down. The pain will still be felt in the back of your jaw, but you will also start feeling it in other places. It may even feel as though the pain is radiating down your neck.

Difficulty When Trying to Open Your Mouth

Along with the pain caused by the infection, you may also start noticing that you are having difficulty whenever you try to open your mouth. This symptom is not only caused by the pain.

As the infection spreads into your gumline, the tissue will become inflamed and start to swell. The combination between the swelling and the impacted tooth could cause a misalignment in your jaw on the affected side. This misalignment will make it hard for you to open your mouth without increased pain and discomfort.

Swollen Lymph Nodes in Your Neck

As part of your body's immune system, your lymph nodes filter out bacteria and dead white blood cells. As an infection worsens, they start working overtime, which can cause them to swell up and become enlarged.

Since the lymph nodes in your neck are the closest to your teeth, they are primarily responsible for filtering out any byproducts while your body tries to fight off the infection. Because of this, you may start noticing that you have a sore throat on the side where your infected wisdom tooth resides.

However, swollen lymph nodes themselves are not cause for an alarm, as they are doing their job. They do, however, let you know that there is an infection going on, and if you are having other symptoms, that you might have an infected wisdom tooth.

Bad Odor and Taste in Your Mouth

As the infection in your wisdom tooth worsens and starts to spread, the area may start to drain as bacteria and dead white blood cells form pus inside the gum. When this happens, you will notice two things.

First, your breath will smell bad. Even if you brush your teeth and rinse with mouthwash several times a day, the odor will linger. This odor is caused by the waste byproducts of the bacteria and will not go away until the infection has been treated.

Second, you will have a nasty taste in your mouth. No matter what you eat or drink, it will all taste like the pus that is being drained from the tooth. And, the taste will usually be strongest when you first wake up in the morning, since the drainage has been sitting in your mouth undisturbed all night.

If you have an impacted wisdom tooth that has become infected, the infection will need to be treated before you can have the tooth removed. Speak with your dentist about what they need to do before you have a tooth extraction procedure to remove your impacted wisdom tooth.