Despite their name, wisdom teeth can come with many questions and potential problems. Wisdom teeth are the third molars on the upper and lower jaw. While many people do not experience problems when they come in, if there is not enough room in the jaw, wisdom teeth can become impacted and cause pain, infection, and other potential oral health issues.
The wisdom teeth are the last adult teeth to come in, and typically erupt in people between the ages of 17 to 25 years old. It’s important to recognize the signs of wisdom teeth coming in and know when to take appropriate steps to determine whether they require additional treatment.
5 Signs of Wisdom Teeth Coming In
Because wisdom teeth are often not able to fully erupt due to smaller jaw sizes, you may not be able to see them coming in. This is why it’s helpful to watch for the key signs that wisdom teeth are coming in.
1. Visible White Spots Behind the Molars
If you see white spots just behind the molars, these are likely to be the first visible signs of wisdom teeth erupting through the gum lines. In some cases, they may continue to develop normally. But if they continue to be small white spots, it could be a sign of impacted wisdom teeth.
2. Swelling and Inflammation in the Gums
Another sign of the wisdom teeth coming in is noticeable swelling and inflammation in the rear gums. In most cases, this is a normal sign of any teeth coming in, particularly larger teeth such as wisdom teeth. If swelling and inflammation in the gums is particularly severe or causes bleeding, you may want to see a dentist.
3. Pain and Tenderness in the Jaw
When wisdom teeth begin to erupt, it can also put a lot of strain on the jaw bone. This is because they can cause the other teeth to move and shift as they come in. Symptoms can include pain, tenderness, stiffness, and difficulty with opening and closing that can interfere with eating, speaking, and other daily activities. This could be a sign of wisdom teeth not growing normally and shifting other teeth out of alignment.
4. Sharp Pains in the Face
The wisdom teeth can also put pressure on the surrounding nerves, which can cause pain to radiate away from the jaw and into the face, including the ears and even the eyes. Frequent headaches may also indicate that wisdom teeth are erupting or have become impacted.
5. Bad Breath and an Unpleasant Taste in the Mouth
One potential risk of wisdom teeth becoming not erupting is that they may become infected beneath the jawline. The buildup of pus, your body’s natural response to fight off the infection, can cause bad breath and mouth taste. This can be one of the most serious signs of an impacted wisdom tooth and likely requires prompt dental treatment.
When Do Wisdom Teeth Require Treatment?
During regular visits, a dentist can help identify the earliest signs of wisdom teeth coming in and help you take proper measures. To prevent negative effects such as misaligned teeth, pain, and infection, it is important to be proactive about diagnosing and treating impacted wisdom teeth. If you or your dentist identify any of these signs, diagnostic steps can include a hands-on examination and diagnostic imagery such as an X-ray.
Dentists often recommend removing wisdom teeth before they become a problem.
Wisdom teeth extractions are a very common treatment for impacted wisdom teeth or wisdom teeth that do not come in straight. An experienced dental surgery specialist can perform this procedure. Taking this step can help prevent more serious issues, such as an infection of the teeth, gums, or even jaw.
Your dentist or oral surgeon will provide thorough care and recovery instructions to ensure proper healing following wisdom teeth extraction. It is important to follow these instructions closely to prevent issues such as a dry socket that can complicate the recovery process for wisdom tooth extraction.
Keep Your Family’s Teeth Healthy with the Help of AC Pediatric Dentistry
Going to the dentist can be scary — we get it. But it should be fun! Whether it’s care for baby teeth, big kid teeth, oral surgery, or orthodontics, our team of specialized pediatric dentists make the experience memorable while teaching you how to encourage healthy habits and good hygiene for lifelong smiles. Call us today or request an appointment online. We can’t wait to meet you!