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What are the symptoms of impacted wisdom teeth?

BMJ Group Medical Reference

If your wisdom teeth haven't come through your gums properly, they are impacted. But this doesn't mean that they will bother you.

You get symptoms if your impacted wisdom teeth cause problems such as an infection, a cavity or gum disease. If you do have one of these problems, you might have:

  • Pain or tenderness in your gums or jawbone

  • Bad breath

  • Redness or swelling in your gums around the tooth that is impacted

  • An unpleasant taste in your mouth when you bite near the area

  • A headache or jaw ache.

More rarely you might have:

Sometimes you may have no symptoms, but could still have a problem with your wisdom teeth, such as:

  • Decay that doesn't cause any pain

  • Root resorption. This happens when your body attacks and destroys the root of your tooth.

  • A cyst (a sac filled with fluid)

  • A tumour.

As your wisdom teeth come through, your gums may feel sore or tender. This is temporary and should disappear once the tooth is in position. [5]

If your gums do get sore, some dentists recommend using a mouthwash. [5] You could also try painkillers such as ibuprofen or paracetamol. But see your dentist if the soreness doesn't go away. [5]


For references related to Wisdom teeth, impacted click here.
Last Updated: March 24, 2011
This information does not replace medical advice.  If you are concerned you might have a medical problem please ask your Boots pharmacy team in your local Boots store, or see your doctor.

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