What problems can an impacted wisdom tooth cause?
The term "pericoronitis" refers to an infection that is common with impacted wisdom teeth. It is most common when only part of the wisdom tooth has emerged from underneath your gums, a condition known as "partial eruption".
When your wisdom tooth is only partially erupted, dental plaque can accumulate in the space between your gums and your wisdom tooth and unfortunately there is no way for you to effectively clean it out. The plaque can cause an infection to spread to the tissues surrounding your wisdom tooth, which in turn makes the area feel tender and start to swell. It can also be quite painful and can cause unpleasant mouth odours and taste. In some cases, it can make it difficult for you to open your mouth.
Pericoronitis is usually a temporary problem that can be relieved by your dentist. If pericoronitis is occuring repeatedly, then your dentist may recommend having the wisdom tooth extracted, most likely by an oral surgeon.