Since wisdom teeth are right at the back of your mouth and often come through at an odd angle, they can be tougher than other teeth to keep healthy. In some cases, this can lead to infections, and these need to be dealt with as soon as possible to reduce discomfort and prevent the infection from spreading.
With that in mind, here are just five common warning signs to watch out for.
1. Fever and Chills
When your body is trying to fight off an infection, a fever will be its natural response. If you suddenly find yourself experiencing signs of a fever, you may have an infected wisdom tooth. You may also experience chills that last a significant period. People often assume these fevers are unrelated to their oral health since pain within the mouth will not necessarily be felt at the same time, so don't make the same mistake.
2. Localised Pain
Tooth infections often cause pain. Since the wisdom teeth are at the back and sides of your mouth, this is where you're most likely to experience pain if one should become infected. Pain along the side of the face or in the jaw is common — in some cases, this can make talking or eating uncomfortable. You may also find yourself experiencing muscle spasms in your jaw.
3. Unpleasant Tastes
You can often tell when a tooth towards the front of the mouth is infected due to a discharge of pus, but this can be difficult to spot when a wisdom tooth is infected. However, you may still have an unpleasant taste in your mouth. This may be lingering, or you may experience a rush of foul, salty liquid.
4. Swollen Lymph Nodes
Your body's lymphatic system needs to work harder when you have an infection, which means the lymph nodes may swell or become hard and tender. The lymph nodes in your neck or under your jaw may do so when a wisdom tooth has become infected, especially if the infection has spread. Spreading infections can cause other issues, so you should see a dentist as soon as possible.
5. Sinus Infection
Your sinus cavities are a specific area where infections from your wisdom teeth are likely to spread. This will often create many of the same symptoms detailed above, including fever and facial pain. Additionally, sinus infections are associated with a runny or congested nose, headaches, sinus pain, coughing and a sore throat.
For more information, contact a dentist near you.