Many young children are excited when they lose their baby teeth and get to watch their adult teeth slowly grow in. For teenagers and young adults, however, it’s another story when it comes to wisdom teeth. That is because third molars often cause overcrowding or grow in at an awkward angle that can cause discomfort and serious dental problems. For these reasons, approximately 5 million Americans undergo wisdom tooth extraction each year, according to research published in the U.S. National Library of Medicine. Many dentists recommend extraction before the wisdom teeth have fully erupted. Are you still waiting on your last four teeth to arrive? Here are 5 signs that your wisdom teeth are coming in.
What Are Wisdom Teeth?
Wisdom teeth are the third set of molars that grow in on both sides of the mouth, top and bottom. They usually erupt when a person is between the ages of 17 to 21 – when they are perhaps a little “wiser” than when the majority of their adult teeth previously arrived.
Third molars that erupt at a sideways angle, only partially erupt through the gums or remain trapped beneath the gum line are known as impacted wisdom teeth and can lead to serious dental issues over time, such as gum disease, cysts and increased risk of tooth decay.
How Can I Know If My Wisdom Teeth Are Coming In?
Below are some of the common symptoms of wisdom tooth eruption:
- #1: Irritation in the Gums – You may feel slight irritation and notice swelling in the gums in the area behind the second molars.
- #2: Aches and Pains – Wisdom teeth growth often causes a dull ache near the back of the jaw that for some people can turn into frequent, more pronounced pain.
- #3: Pain in Other Areas – Wisdom teeth sometimes put pressure on nerves in a way that causes pain around the jaw, eyes and ears.
- #4: Redness – The gums that sit on top of wisdom teeth before they come in may turn red or dark pink as the teeth begin to push through.
- #5: Small White Specks – Small white specks emerging behind your second molars are a clear sign that your wisdom teeth are beginning to come in. The white specks are actually the top of your new teeth breaking through the gum line.
What Should You Do Next?
If you or your teenager are experiencing any of the above symptoms, you should schedule a consultation with your periodontist in Colorado Springs.
Wisdom teeth that erupt in an upright and functional position and do not cause pain often do not need to be extracted. However, impacted third molars can lead to a significant amount of pain and other serious dental problems, in which case wisdom tooth extraction is usually recommended.
Wisdom teeth are often easier to remove before age 20, when they have less developed roots. So, do not wait to contact your periodontist if you or your teenaged son or daughter are experiencing wisdom tooth-related discomfort.
About the Practice
Dr. Geoff Haradon and Dr. Karl Lackler have more than three decades of combined experience providing quality oral care, including wisdom tooth extraction. Together, they form the backbone of the expert team at Rocky Mountain Periodontal Specialists. To learn more about wisdom tooth extraction, visit their website or call 719-574-4867.