How do you know your wisdom teeth are coming in?

impacted wisdom tooth, impacted third molar

Wisdom teeth, are aptly named because they make their appearance as young people transition to adulthood and become “wise.”  These third molars typically erupt through the gums during the late teen years. The roots are often firmly established by the time a person turns 20, which is why we encourage our patients to have them removed by their mid to late teens, ensuring a less complicated extraction.

How can you tell the status of your wisdom teeth? Even though wisdom teeth, or third molars are common, they can cause complications. An x-ray is the best way to determine if your wisdom teeth are coming in, although there are other signs that might indicate their arrival.

Headaches and/or Jaw Pain

When wisdom teeth finally attempt to push through your gums, there are already 28 teeth in your mouth and not much room left for a third set of molars. So, they’ve got to force the rest of your teeth to move aside as they erupt, and this often causes pain in the jaw which then radiates throughout the mouth, especially if more than one molar erupts.

Other more extreme symptoms of pain caused by wisdom teeth is difficulty opening and closing your mouth and headaches due to their pushing against your sinuses. If you’ve got unexplainable sinus pain, it might be a good idea to have your dentist check out your mouth to see if your wisdom teeth are erupting, or if there is another issue that needs to be identified.

Swollen Gums in the Back of Your Mouth

We’ve all experienced mild gum irritation at one time or another, and it reminds us to be vigilant about our daily flossing and brushing. But when you’ve got irritation in the back of your mouth, that discomfort could be caused by the arrival of your wisdom teeth, especially if it’s in the expected timeframe for them to come in. If your gums are red and swollen, that’s a sign that your third molars may be trying to push their way through.

Bad Breath

When wisdom teeth can’t push through because there are already too many teeth in your mouth, they become impacted, or stuck in your gums. In addition to the aforementioned issues, such as jaw pain and swollen gums, impacted teeth can cause bad breath. When a tooth grows sideways, it’s difficult to clean the surrounding teeth and gums, so bacteria get trapped and builds up over time, which produces an unpleasant odor because your wisdom teeth are decaying under the gum line.

Repeated Misjudged Biting

Have you found yourself accidentally biting down on the inside of your cheek or even your tongue? There’s the chance that your wisdom teeth are trying to come in or have pushed their way in without you noticing. If this has happened, they may have moved other teeth out of alignment as they erupted, and now, you’re not used to their new location. And even the slightest shift can cause you to misjudge your bite and clamp down on your cheek or tongue or even chip some teeth.

The Sight of Them

We seldom investigate the back of our mouths. If you are wondering how to know if your wisdom teeth have come in, just take a look. You may see some swelling or a lump or even a new molar poking through.

What do I do if my wisdom teeth are coming in?

There are several ways to determine if your wisdom teeth are coming in. From pain and swelling to bad breath and misguided biting, symptoms of new wisdom teeth abound. But what do you do with this newfound knowledge? If you notice any of these signs and suspect your wisdom teeth have arrived, talk to your dentist about a recommendation for the top oral surgeon in Tampa, FL., Dr. Valiente of Tampa Florida!  You’ll want to have X-rays taken and schedule a wisdom teeth removal appointment as soon as possible.