Impacted Wisdom Tooth: Symptoms & Signs

Medically Reviewed on 9/10/2019

Wisdom teeth is another name for the four third molars, which are the last or most posterior permanent teeth. Most people have wisdom teeth, but in some cases, one or more of these teeth may not develop. Also, the wisdom teeth may not appear if they become impacted, or do not erupt normally through the gum tissue.

Symptoms associated with impacted wisdom teeth can include tooth pain, jaw pain, headache, and stiffness of the jaw. If the wisdom teeth become infected, they may cause swelling of the gums, redness of the gums, bad breath, and sometimes pus draining from the area.

Causes of impacted wisdom teeth

Wisdom teeth are a part of the normal human dentition, but in some cases, they may erupt at an abnormal angle, or not have sufficient space to erupt, and cause pain or other symptoms.

Other impacted wisdom tooth symptoms and signs


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Kasper, D.L., et al., eds. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, 19th Ed. United States: McGraw-Hill Education, 2015.