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Impacted tooth

  • Alternative Names

    Tooth - unemerged; Unemerged tooth; Dental impaction; Unerupted tooth

    • Bad breath
    • Difficulty opening the mouth (occasionally)
    • Pain or tenderness of the gums (gingiva) or jaw bone
    • Prolonged headache or jaw ache
    • Redness and swelling of the gums around the impacted tooth
    • Swollen lymph nodes of the neck (occasionally)
    • Unpleasant taste when biting down on or near the area
    • Visible gap where a tooth did not emerge

    Signs and tests

    Your dentist will look for swollen tissue over the area where a tooth has not emerged, or has only partially emerged. The impacted tooth may be pressing on nearby teeth. The gums around the area may show signs of infection such as redness, drainage, and tenderness. As gums swell over impacted wisdom teeth and then drain and tighten, it may feel like the tooth came in and then went back down again.

    Dental x-rays confirm the presence of one or more teeth that have not emerged.