When you become an adult, you can expect wisdom teeth to grow in. These are molars at the very back of your mouth, but serve no purpose — they make an appearance between the ages of 17 and 21 (or later!) and mostly cause problems.
Don’t worry, though — wisdom teeth removal is a painless and common procedure.
Despite the fact that almost everyone has them and most people experience their removal, it’s still important to be aware of them.
The fact they’re common doesn’t mean they can’t cause complications, so it’s essential to be aware of how to tell if your wisdom teeth are coming in.
That way, if there are any complications, you can see a dentist to have them removed.
1. Irritation Around the Gums
With mild periodontal disease being very common, most people have experienced irritation around the gums at least once in their life and aren’t alarmed by it.
However, if it’s toward the back of your mouth and around the right time, it may not be caused by flossing that isn’t vigorous enough or inconsistent brushing. It could be caused by your wisdom teeth.
When they’re pushing their way through, one of the common signs of wisdom teeth growing in is red swelling in the gums. It’s an understandable sign — new teeth are breaking through, and that isn’t always going to be an easy, smooth process.
Speak to your dentist if you ever experience irritation in the gums but if it’s at the back of your mouth, don’t be surprised if they let you know that the cause is those pesky wisdom teeth making an appearance.
Fortunately, having removal surgery will cure the irritation if this is the cause.
2. Pain Around the Mouth, Jaw, or Head
People are often surprised that there’s a connection between wisdom teeth and headaches, but wisdom teeth don’t just cause pain in the mouth.
Although the first sore sign of wisdom teeth is likely going to be felt in the mouth, it can go further than that. It can spread down around the jaw and even cause headaches, particularly if more than one tooth is making its way in at the same time.
The reason for this is that wisdom teeth force teeth to move aside to make room for them. This can cause the pain and discomfort you’ll often experience in your jaw, as your whole mouth is shifting to make room.
Sometimes, it even becomes difficult to open and close your mouth.
In more rare cases (but still very possible!), they will push against your sinuses as they grow and this is what often causes headaches.
3. Bad Breath
Impacted wisdom teeth are what everyone dreads, but they’re common. Because there isn’t enough room for them to grow, they start to grow sideways and become impacted (or half-trapped) under the gum, coming to a grinding halt.
While this can be the cause of the pain, discomfort, and irritation you might be experiencing, it also comes with another unpleasant symptom. Bad breath.
A tooth growing awkwardly can cause pockets around the gums and teeth that are difficult to clean. Bacteria can become trapped there and without regular visits to the dentist, it will build up over time.
You may begin to notice that you have bad breath no matter how much you clean your teeth or even an unpleasant taste at the back of your mouth.
If it isn’t going away with some toothpaste and floss, it’s time to see a dentist in case a sideways wisdom tooth is causing the issue.
4. Accidentally Biting Your Cheek or Tongue
Sometimes wisdom teeth move your other teeth aside so slowly that you don’t quite notice they’re there for a while. There might have been the occasional ache or redness that you brushed off, but ultimately, you haven’t really noticed that the rest of your teeth have moved to make room for new invaders.
Until you bite down on your tongue and the inside of your cheek. Repeatedly.
With your teeth moving ever-so-slightly to different spaces in your mouth, you may not be used to their new place and misjudge once-automatic bites into food.
If you’ve noticed this happening at a frequent rate, take a look for some other symptoms or speak to your dentist.
5. Look — They Just Might Be Visible
An obvious sign that your wisdom teeth might be appearing is the appearance of them.
It may not be obvious. Stand in front of a mirror and take a flashlight to your mouth so you can have a good look at the back of your gums.
It may not be the teeth yourself you see — there might be a lump in there or some swelling you’ve never noticed.
Or it might well be the teeth! Perhaps one of these new molars has burst through or began to, and you can see some white shining through the gum. Often, it doesn’t take a dentist to tell you that your wisdom teeth have decided it’s time to come through.
It’s Important You Know How to Tell if Your Wisdom Teeth Are Coming In
If you know how to tell if your wisdom teeth are coming in, their arrival is usually pretty obvious. Some discomfort is widely associated with wisdom teeth although if you’re lucky, the pain won’t be too bad and they won’t be impacted.
Even if this is the case, it might be wise to look into their removal. Wisdom teeth serve no purpose and getting rid of them early means they can’t cause you any of the problems that other, less fortunate people experience, such as sinus headaches and bad breath.
If you suspect your wisdom teeth are here, speak to your dentist about the best option.
For excellent dental care in Lexington or London, KY, contact us today!