Impacted Wisdom Teeth Removal | Things To Know

Things To Know About Having Impacted Wisdom Teeth 

Wisdom teeth are the last set of teeth to emerge in your mouth. They are also known as third molars, which develop around 17 to 21 years old. The way they are positioned in your mouth determines whether they should be removed. 

If your wisdom teeth grew healthy and in the correct position, pulling them out may not be necessary. But if they’re misaligned, you may require dental surgery. 

One of the common problems that may arise during the development of your third molars is having impacted wisdom teeth. This issue needs to be resolved with impacted wisdom teeth removal to prevent further issues that may affect your gums. 

What Are Impacted Wisdom Teeth? 

Impacted wisdom teeth are a complication that occurs when there is not enough room for your third molars to erupt. When this happens, your wisdom tooth gets trapped inside your gum. They may also partially erupt where only some of the crown is visible. As a result, your wisdom tooth not only grows in a different direction and affects your other teeth but also causes pain and swelling.

Kinds of Impacted Wisdom Teeth 

Your dental specialist will require a dental X-ray to see how much of your third molars have erupted. It will become the basis of their diagnosis to determine the type of impacted wisdom teeth. Some of these include the following: 

  • Partially Impacted – when a portion of the wisdom tooth’s crown is visible in the gum tissue
  • Fully Impacted – when your wisdom teeth are not visible as they haven’t broken through the gums.

An impacted wisdom tooth may also be classified based on its angle or position. The most common kind is mesial impaction, which is when your wisdom teeth are pointed towards the opening of your mouth. Meanwhile, a distal impaction refers to teeth angled towards the back of your mouth and is considered a rare type.

Another position of an impacted wisdom tooth is horizontal impaction. It is where your wisdom tooth is pointed towards a right angle, causing it to push teeth near it. Meanwhile, a vertical impaction is when your tooth is aligned correctly but cannot come out of your gums.

Symptoms and Complications 

The symptoms of having impacted wisdom teeth may not always appear to everyone. But for some people, here are signs that may develop:

  • Swollen gums or jaw
  • Pain in the jaw area
  • Bleeding or tender gums
  • Bad breath or halitosis

If you notice any of these signs, it’s crucial to have your teeth checked. Otherwise, your impacted wisdom teeth may cause further complications like tooth decay and gum disease. It may also develop a cyst, which may become a tumor, requiring more surgical procedures to be removed. 


The most common way to treat an impacted wisdom tooth is through surgical extraction, which typically takes around 30 minutes to an hour. In this process, your oral surgeon will initially administer sedation, local, or general anesthesia, depending on the complexity of your case. It will help you relax and numb your mouth so you won’t feel any pain throughout the procedure. After that, your periodontist will make an incision and eliminate bones in your mouth that may be obstructing your wisdom tooth. 

Once that’s done, your third molars will be removed. To patch things up, the hole where the extraction is made will be closed by your surgeon using stitches and sterile gauze.


Some of the things you will encounter post-procedure are pain and swelling, especially after the effects of the anesthesia have worn off. That’s why your dentist may prescribe pain relievers to help you through it. In general, the healing period for impacted wisdom teeth removal varies with each patient. But on average, most people take a week to recover fully. The open wound typically takes months to heal, so you need to take care of it to avoid developing any infections. Some of the aftercare tips you can follow include:

  • Eating only soft foods like applesauce, pudding, and mashed potatoes.
  • Not consuming nuts and food that’s too hot.
  • Avoiding drinking from a straw.
  • Staying away from strenuous activities.
  • Applying an ice pack or cold compress to relieve pain and swelling.
  • Avoiding smoking.
  • Rinsing your mouth with salt water twice to three times a day.
  • Getting a lot of rest.


Your teeth undergo changes as you grow older. That’s why it’s essential to visit your dentist regularly so that problems like impacted wisdom teeth do not go undetected. Aside from that, only specialists like them can recommend suitable options you can take to resolve your dental issues. So, if you have queries or experiencing pain in your teeth, reach out to a dental expert near you.