If you feel like your wisdom teeth are coming in, don’t worry. You are not alone. Thousands of young Americans across the country ask themselves the same question, especially when they are feeling discomfort in the back of their mouth. But how do you know if the irritating feeling is from your wisdom teeth?
WHAT ARE WISDOM TEETH?
Wisdom teeth, also known as third molars, are the last teeth to erupt in the mouth. They will normally fully develop inside the jaw during our teenage years, and normally erupt during this time. Many wisdom teeth remain dormant inside the jawbones. If they remain inside the jawbone, they are known as “impacted wisdom teeth.” Wisdom teeth may erupt and function normally inside the mouth. Unfortunately, for those who do not have sufficient space for them to grow in properly, they can create oral health problems that may linger on indefinitely. In these situations, it is normally best practice to have a surgical dentist remove them for you.
SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS THAT YOUR WISDOM TEETH ARE COMING IN
Bleeding and tender gum tissue: If you are noticing tenderness and bleeding in the back of your mouth next to your molars, it could be a sign of your wisdom tooth coming in. These teeth break through later on in life and can cause discomfort during their eruption phase.
Swelling in the gums and jaws: If you are noticing a swelling occurring near the back of your mouth or near the angle of the jaw, this could be due to your wisdom teeth. Swelling is normally a sign of infection and is considered to be a dental emergency. If you are noticing significant swelling in the area of your wisdom teeth, you should see a dentist immediately.
Bad breath: Bacteria can harbor around the area where the wisdom teeth are coming in and create a foul odor in the mouth. If this becomes an issue for you, it may be time to have your wisdom teeth removed.
Difficulty opening your mouth: Trismus (also known as muscle spasms that prevent mouth opening) is a sign of wisdom teeth infection. The gum tissue surrounding the wisdom tooth may become inflamed leading to this condition.
Jaw cysts and tumors: Impacted and partially impacted wisdom teeth are prone to stimulate cyst and tumor development in the jawbones. These are normally benign in nature, but some may be very aggressive leading to advanced forms of jaw surgery to remove the tumor(s) in their entirety.
HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE FOR WISDOM TEETH TO COME IN?
Most wisdom teeth completely erupt inside the mouth during the ages of 17-21. Once they break through the gumline, they may fully erupt a few months after that or remain semi-impacted and trapped in that area indefinitely.
Always remember that wisdom teeth can erupt at any age. Many people in their 30s and 40s see these teeth begin erupting and causing pain inside their mouth.
If you are suspecting your wisdom teeth coming in, please see your Paducah dental team today at Johnson Family today! Dr. Ben Johnson can perform an examination and take x-rays and help you determine the best course of action for your particular situation.
For more information or to schedule an appointment, give Johnson Family Dental a call at (270) 554-2432 or CLICK HERE to contact us today. Johnson Family Dental is conveniently located at 2913 Lone Oak Rd in Paducah, KY. Our office is open from 8:00am – 5:00pm, Monday – Thursday.