Signs of Wisdom Tooth Infection

Wisdom Tooth Infection Symptoms

One of the most common reasons that people in their late teens and 20’s make an appointment with an oral surgeon is to have their wisdom teeth extracted, usually due to an infection or having impacted wisdom teeth. A wisdom tooth infection can be incredibly painful and require prompt care. Here are some typical wisdom tooth infection symptoms.

Swollen Gums

Red, swollen gums are an indicator of infection or poor oral health. Unless you’ve been diagnosed with gum disease or somehow irritated your gums, swollen gums can be a symptom of a wisdom tooth infection. It is a small symptom that can often be overlooked.


If you experience pus from your teeth and gums, it is typically a sign of a tooth abscess or a wisdom tooth infection. Pus is a clear sign of infection. Both are considered dental emergencies. If you see pus, make an emergency appointment with us or your dental provider immediately. The sooner an infection is treated, the lower the risk for complications.

Bad Breath

Bad breath can be a sign of many things, including poor oral hygiene, dehydration, and a side effect of certain prescription medications. It’s even a sign of more serious conditions, including kidney and liver disease. Your dentist can help you determine the cause of your bad breath and refer you to other medical professionals who can help. For a wisdom tooth infection, you will likely be referred to an oral surgeon. If the bad breath doesn’t have a dental cause, your dentist may recommend that you work with your primary care doctor to run some medical tests to determine its origin.


When you have a fever, your body is telling you that it has an infection, either from a virus or bacteria. A fever is often a sign of a tooth infection. If you have other symptoms on this list, such as jaw pain or pus, a fever can be a clear sign of a tooth infection.

Difficulty Opening Mouth and Swallowing Food

A wisdom tooth infection can make it difficult to open your mouth and swallow food or drinks. If you ever experience this symptom, it is important to seek medical attention. Other very serious medical conditions, such as tetanus (known as “lockjaw” syndrome) or TMJ can also make it difficult to open your mouth.

Not everyone has wisdom teeth, so not everyone has a risk of having a wisdom tooth infection. For those who end up with a wisdom tooth infection, prompt treatment and care are critical. If you have questions about wisdom tooth infections or want to schedule an appointment, please call Mid Manhattan Oral Surgery at (212) 696-2677. We’ll be happy to answer any questions you have or discuss your concerns.