How To Know If Your Wisdom Teeth Are Coming In

They are the last of your teeth to make an appearance. Yet despite their name, not many people celebrate when their wisdom teeth arrive. These third molars, four in total and located in each corner of your sets of teeth, can often cause problems. 

This is because most people’s other 28 adult teeth are already in place. There’s not much room left for more to enter the equation. Overcrowding is possible, and wisdom teeth can also grow at an awkward angle. Aside from general discomfort, it can lead to serious dental issues. Even when you don’t factor in these potential problems, wisdom teeth are generally unnecessary from both an aesthetic point of view and for healthy chewing. 

As a result, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that around five million Americans have their wisdom teeth removed each year.

Have your last four teeth yet to make their arrival? This guide will go over the main points to learn how to know if your wisdom teeth are coming in – and what steps you should take if removal is necessary. 

Signs that your wisdom teeth are coming in

There are various ways to learn if your wisdom teeth are about to make their not-so-grand appearance. One of the earliest ways to detect wisdom teeth is with a dental X-ray. This can also reveal their positioning and if you should be prepared for extraction. 

However, even when an X-ray isn’t used, it is possible for you to know if they’re coming in. The reason is that a number of unpleasant symptoms are linked to wisdom tooth eruption. These indicators include: 

  • Gum irritation: In the gum area located behind the second molars, it is possible you will feel irritation. This can also result in swelling. 
  • Jaw pain: It’s not uncommon for wisdom teeth growth to cause pain. This will usually be a dull, slightly annoying pain toward the back of the jaw. However, it can become more pronounced and consistent, and this is a sign having your wisdom teeth removed is a necessary course of action. 
  • Pain in other areas: It’s not just your jaw that can be impacted. When wisdom teeth come through, they can potentially place pressure on nearby nerves – and that can lead to pain in other areas. This includes the eyes and ears. 
  • Bleeding or tender gums: As the wisdom teeth start to push through the gum’s surface, this can cause bleeding or tender gums. You should always visit the dentist when suffering from bleeding gums. If this is persistent, it may indicate you are also dealing with gum disease.
  • Difficulty opening your mouth wide: Wisdom teeth coming through can cause misalignment. This can make it tricky to both open and close your mouth. Pain is also common when biting or chewing. 
  • Bad breath: If you are dealing with impacted wisdom teeth, this can cause an overgrowth of bacteria. With the presence of bacteria in this area, it turns into a source of bad breath. 
  • A bad taste in your mouth: Extending on from the previous point, if an impacted wisdom tooth has resulted in an infection, it’s possible you will also deal with a foul taste in your mouth.
  • Small white specks: If you can see visible white specks behind your second molars, this is clear evidence your wisdom teeth are starting to come in. Those specks are the top of the teeth emerging through the gum line. 

If the wisdom teeth are coming through in a straight, functional position, you will unlikely experience any of the above symptoms besides some mild, irregular pain. However, if you are suffering from some of those symptoms, it is a sign that your wisdom teeth are impacted. 

Impacted wisdom teeth should not be ignored. Along with the general issues they cause, as listed above, there’s the potential for them to result in inflammatory dental disease. When this happens, nearby teeth and even your jawbone can be harmed. 

That’s not all. Further complications can come about from wisdom teeth. Possible problems range from gum disease to tooth decay. This is why you should respond swiftly once you notice the first signs your wisdom teeth are coming in. 

Also, keep in mind that wisdom teeth can cause problems before they are visible. Even when below the gum line, they can come in at abnormal angles. When this happens, they push against your existing teeth, and that typically causes significant jaw pain and impacts your teeth’s alignment. 

Due to this, you need to pay careful attention to the possible symptoms of your wisdom teeth coming in. Even when not visible, they can cause damage you want to avoid at all costs. 

What to do once you notice your wisdom teeth coming in

When any of the symptoms listed above have been experienced, it is recommended you schedule a consultation with your dentist. At Bafdentistry, one of our most common tasks is wisdom tooth extraction. However, extraction might not necessarily be the only solution available. 

As mentioned already, there’s often no need to extract wisdom teeth that erupt in a straight and unproblematic manner. You might find this surprising, but this is also the case in certain scenarios where the wisdom teeth are impacted. For instance, if they are not causing any noticeable issues, there’s no real benefit in removing them and opening the door to potential complications. 

Yet when the impacted third molars are problematic, causing serious dental issues and significant levels of pain, you should typically have your wisdom teeth extracted. This could be just a single wisdom tooth or the entire set, depending on your issues. 

Another reason why you shouldn’t wait to have your wisdom teeth removed is that they’re often easier to extract when younger. Before the age of 20, these teeth will feature less developed roots. That means a dentist will have an easier time removing the impacted tooth, ultimately lowering the possibility of any further issues.