​​​Wisdom Tooth Problem

Wisdom teeth are the last adult teeth to emerge at the back four corners of your mouth, usually between the ages of seventeen to twenty-one. Wisdom teeth do not always cause problems, and it is possible for them to grow into place correctly without causing any complications. However, more often than not there is not enough room for your wisdom teeth because the other 28 teeth have already fully formed and are in place. Thus there are a number of complications that can occur along with the emerging wisdom teeth. These include:​

  • Impacted wisdom teeth – Impacted wisdom teeth refer to when the third molars at the back of your mouth do not have enough room to develop or erupt (surface) normally. Your wisdom teeth become blocked or trapped (impacted) as it is emerging and pushing through the gum into your mouth (erupting). The tooth may be able to partially emerge so that the crown is visible (partially impacted), or it may be completely blocked (fully impacted).

  • Misalignment – your wisdom teeth may start to emerge at an angle and come out crooked. 

  • Crowding – if there is not enough room for your wisdom to emerge correctly, they may cause crowding. This is when your teeth start to become displaced and crooked because your wisdom teeth are pushing them out in order to make room to emerge. 

  • Cyst – a cyst may form, which could damage the bone or roots of your teeth. ​

If your wisdom teeth are starting to erupt, there are some signs that there are problems associated with how they are emerging:​

  • Pain – around the impacted  wisdom tooth/teeth, surrounding teeth, the gums or even in the ears.

  • Swelling – A flap of swollen and infected flap of gum tissue may start to form over your impacted wisdom tooth.

  • Stiffness – around the jaw of the impacted wisdom tooth.

  • Irritated or painful tooth – teeth coming in at an awkward angle can be very uncomfortable and cause much pain and rubbing against the sides of your mouth, top or bottom of your mouth or your tongue.

  • Crowding – displacement of your permanent teeth.

  • Tooth decay or gum disease – it is more difficult to access and clean wisdom teeth, increasing the chances of tooth decay and gum disease.

It is advised that you should pay regular visits to your dentist, who is able to detect problems before they become more serious. You should definitely visit the Teeth & Skin service line at The Aga Khan University Hospital if you experience any of the symptoms associated with wisdom teeth. The sooner your dentist is able to treat symptoms, the less extensive the treatment will be.​

Your time with your doctor may be limited, so make sure to prepare for your visit beforehand. Here are some tips to help get you started. 
Your dentist will firstly ask questions about your symptoms and about your general dental health and medical history. They will then examine the affected area to make an initial judgment about whether you are suffering from impacted teeth or another problem associated with wisdom teeth eruption. He or she may then take X-rays if necessary to better examine your teeth and bones and to understand how your wisdom teeth are causing, or could potentially cause, further complications.​

It is not always necessary to remove wisdom teeth that have not caused you any pain or difficulty, but it is possible that could start to give you trouble in the near future as they develop. Thus it is worth having your teeth examined by your dentist so that he or she may give you proper advice about treatment and prevention.  

However, it is very common for wisdom teeth to cause problems, and most often these are extracted (removed). Your oral surgeon will remove any gum tissue that might be covering your tooth to access and remove it. After it has been extracted, you might need stiches to close up the wound. 

There are some steps that you can take at home in order to reduce the pain and swelling you experience before you have your tooth extracted, such as taking an over-the-counter pain medication, using ice on your cheek, and occasionally rinsing your mouth gently with warm salt water. ​

Your doctor and or nurse will give you specific instructions about the prescribed medication. Please ensure that you take or use the prescribed medicine as advised. It can be dangerous to your health if you self-prescribe. Please inform the doctor or nurse beforehand if you have experienced any adverse reactions to any medications in the past. If you experience any symptoms of drug poisoning, overdose or severe reaction please contact the Pharmacy Service at The Aga Khan University Hospital immediately. You can find the contact number of the Pharmacy Services in the ‘Important Numbers’ section on the website homepage​.



The information provided on our website is for educational purposes and not intended to be a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. You should always seek the advice of your doctor or other healthcare professional provider. ​