Impacted wisdom teeth can be the source of pain in the neck, usually as a result of swollen lymph nodes. Wisdom teeth become impacted when there's not enough room for them to erupt from the jawbone and the teeth grow horizontally or bury themselves inside the jawbone, according to WebMD, creating an environment where infection can gain a foothold and problems can ensue.
When bacteria and debris from food becomes trapped in the space between the gum and a wisdom tooth's crown, the surrounding tissue can become infected — a condition known as pericoronitis. The hallmarks of pericoronitis include swelling and pain in the cheek, painful swallowing, bad breath, fever and swollen lymph nodes, according to MedicineNet. Many dentists recommend surgical extraction of the wisdom teeth to correct the issues they cause.