Some peoples' wisdom teeth come in and need to promptly be pulled, while others' wisdom teeth do not come in, prompting the need for surgery. In other cases, it's possible that you may have a partially erupted wisdom tooth. This describes a wisdom tooth that has broken through your gum, but not fully come into your mouth. If you see your dentist for regular appointments, he or she will closely monitor the progression of your wisdom teeth and deal with them accordingly. However, if it's been a while since you've seen a dentist, you may have a partially erupted wisdom tooth — and that can be problematic in a number of ways. Here are some signs of trouble with this type of tooth.
If you have a partially erupted wisdom tooth, you're apt to notice some swelling. Your jaw may feel swollen, and you may find that the area also feels warm. These are signs that an infection is present. Unfortunately, infections and decay are common in the case of partially erupted wisdom teeth, especially if you don't see a dentist regularly. While you might have some luck battling the swelling through medication or by placing a cold pack on your cheek, these are only temporary solutions. You need to arrange a dental checkup as soon as possible.
Partially erupted wisdom teeth will also leave you in considerable pain, in many cases. This is especially true if the top of the tooth has become decayed. You may notice anything from mild sensitivity to a constant, pulsing ache. It's easy to dismiss these symptoms if you're not the type of person who enjoys going to the dentist, but the reality is that you're in a serious situation that requires the care of a professional. Don't try to self-medicate with pain pills, as they won't address the cause of the oral pain.
It's also common to experience some degree of bleeding when you have a partially erupted wisdom tooth that has become infected and/or decayed. Your mouth may bleed when you brush, and you may even notice the taste of blood in your mouth when you're chewing food. This bleeding is likely to continue — and will almost certainly get worse — until you schedule a visit with your dentist to address the wisdom tooth. Remember, seeing your dentist regularly is the best way to prevent issues such as a partially erupted wisdom tooth from happening.