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Signs & Symptoms That Wisdom Teeth Need Removal

author image Kristie Jernigan
Kristie Jernigan is a health writer with over 17 years of experience as a medical social worker. She has worked mainly with the elderly population and with children. She holds a Bachelor of Science in psychology and early childhood from East Tennessee State University and a Master of Science in health care administration and gerontology from the University of Phoenix.
Signs & Symptoms That Wisdom Teeth Need Removal
Wisdom teeth can cause pain and swelling in the mouth. Photo Credit: deeepblue/iStock/Getty Images

According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, wisdom teeth are the third set of molars that tend to make their first appearance in young adults between the age of 15 to 25. The reason that they cause so much trouble in some people is because the mouth is too small to accommodate the molars. However, there are a number of symptoms that can be a sign that there are problems with these teeth.

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Pain is one of the first signs that someone may experience when wisdom teeth need to be removed. Pain may be felt in the jaw where the wisdom teeth or present. Also, According to the Mayo Clinic, headaches can commonly be caused when the wisdom teeth need to be removed. Headaches may be severe and sometimes require medical intervention. Dentists will sometimes prescribe pain medication for their patients if the procedure cannot be done immediately. However, pain medication is only a temporary fix and the wisdom teeth should be removed as soon as possible.


When wisdom teeth are causing problems and need to be extracted, a person may experience problems with her gums. The gums may become swollen, red and tender to the touch. It may feel as though there is something pushing against the gums, and this can make it difficult for food to be chewed around this site. These gums may become increasingly inflamed and swollen as the condition worsens. Sometimes using ice to control the swelling and inflammation can help, but until the teeth are removed, the condition will only get worse.

Facial Swelling

According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, when the wisdom teeth are inflamed, this can affect the facial area and cause severe swelling. Some people may liken this swelling to having “chipmunk cheeks,” This swelling can be a sign that the wisdom teeth have become impacted and have an infection. This can be a serious health risk and should be addressed with a dentist or oral surgeon as soon as possible. However, using ice to keep the swelling down is a temporary fix.

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