Signs Your Wisdom Teeth are Coming In

doctor showing patient wisdom teeth coming in on x-rayYour wisdom teeth are the third and final set of molars that usually emerge when you are a young adult between ages 15 and 20. Wisdom teeth come in much later in life than your other teeth and sometimes do not come in at all. They often crowd your teeth or become stuck in the jaw when they do come in, leading to a host of dental health issues.

Partially erupted teeth can lead to infection or cavities because they are difficult to clean. Wisdom teeth that get caught in the jawbone and cannot erupt are referred to as impacted,” a condition that can lead to pain and infection.

Once you develop a problem with one or more wisdom teeth, getting the teeth removed is essential to good oral health. If you are age 15 or older and have not had your wisdom teeth removed, you need to be aware of the symptoms of wisdom teeth eruption and impaction.

Jaw Pain

Jaw pain, discomfort, or stiffness may indicate that your wisdom teeth are misaligned. This misalignment puts pressure on your jawbone, the surrounding teeth, and sinuses. This pain can be severe if your wisdom teeth erupt partially because they are blocked by other teeth.


A trapped wisdom tooth puts a lot of pressure on the jawbone and teeth. This pressure can build up and lead to jaw pain and muscle spasms, triggering headaches. If you are experiencing recurring headaches, see your doctor and dentist to determine whether the headaches are due to wisdom teeth issues or another health concern.

Inflamed, Red Gums

If your gums at the back of the mouth are swollen, tender to the touch, and red, a wisdom tooth may be trying to come in. This can make it difficult to chew food. The inflammation can lead to gum disease and other oral health concerns. In some cases, the tongue may also swell. If this happens, seek medical attention immediately.

Facial Swelling

The jawline and cheeks may swell if your wisdom teeth are coming in. If your face is swollen on one or both sides, with or without pain, see your dentist to understand if the swelling is due to erupting wisdom teeth.

Bad Breath

Chronic bad breath or an unpleasant taste in your mouth may be caused by debris caught in pockets around a partially erupted wisdom tooth. These pockets around the teeth are a breeding ground for bacteria. Some people are surprised by this symptom, although it is often an indicator of an oral health issue.

Difficulty Opening and Closing Your Mouth

Stiffness, swelling, and pain can make it difficult to open and close your mouth, making it hard to eat and speak. If a painful jaw interferes with eating or speaking, contact our office for an evaluation.

Biting Your Cheek or Tongue Frequently

If you suddenly start biting the inside of your cheek or tongue a lot, it may be because your teeth are shifting out of alignment. When wisdom teeth come in, they often push other teeth out of place, resulting in a tendency to bite your tongue or cheek because your teeth are no longer where you expect them to be.

Gum Infections

Wisdom teeth often do not emerge fully, getting trapped in awkward positions and leaving the gums susceptible to infection. If debris gets caught along the gum line around an emerging wisdom tooth, it may be difficult or impossible to reach it with a toothbrush or floss. This leads to potentially dangerous gum infections.

Avoiding Problems with Erupting Wisdom Teeth

If you think your wisdom teeth are coming in, contact our office as soon as possible for an appointment. Delaying may result in severe infection or other complications, including damage to your other teeth and jawbone.

Because so many individuals have problems when their wisdom teeth come in, Dr. Valiente often recommends removing the wisdom teeth before they erupt and they lead to problems. This pro-active approach protects you from many oral health problems related to wisdom teeth crowding. This is a simple oral surgery that he performs regularly.

If you are currently experiencing signs your wisdom teeth are coming in, please contact our office at 813-968-5400 to schedule an appointment. Dr. Valiente will evaluate your wisdom teeth and determine if all or some of them need to be removed. We will do what is appropriate to relieve your pain and restore your oral health.