In ancient times, wisdom teeth were an important part of human dentition. This was due to the fact that our ancestors needed greater chewing power to grind the row and hard food that comprised the majority of their diets.
Nowadays, our eating behaviours have changed a lot and these teeth, which are also known as third molars, are no longer considered a necessity. Oftentimes, wisdom teeth do not even grow correctly because we do not have enough room in our jaws, and this leads to various problems. That is why the majority of dentists advise having wisdom teeth surgery to get them removed in early adulthood before they fully erupt.
But how to actually know whether your wisdom teeth are coming in? What does this process feel like, and what are the signs you should look for? Keep reading to learn more about wisdom teeth symptoms.
How do you know when your wisdom teeth are coming through?
Some people do not have any symptoms of any changes occurring in their mouths. Their wisdom teeth come in straight, and they do not even realize it. However, for others, this process is a real struggle, causing a variety of problems and unpleasant complications.
Signs that wisdom teeth are growing in
It is possible to get your wisdom teeth easily and without experiencing any difficulties. However, in the vast majority of cases, wisdom teeth growth is accompanied by either minor or more serious complications.
Here we will list some common signs associated with wisdom teeth growing in.
- Discomfort and dull ache in the back of your mouth
- Soreness and stiffness of the jaw
- Swelling of the gums located behind your second molars
- Redness, bleeding, and tenderness of the gums
- Bad breath and unpleasant taste in your mouth.
When your wisdom teeth begin to grow, it is a good idea to take an X-ray, so your dentist can identify if there are any problems and recommend if you need future extraction. It is also critical that you do not neglect your regular oral health checks. They allow your dentist to examine your mouth and detect any dental problems early on before any symptoms develop.
Signs that could indicate a problem
Experiencing mild discomfort, pain, and jaw stiffness does not necessarily mean that there is a problem with your third molar teeth. Such complications may occur during the growing process and disappear once your wisdom tooth fully comes out. However, there are some symptoms that may indicate that something is wrong with your wisdom teeth.
Here are the warning signs to look out for.
- Gum recession and continuous bleeding
- Throbbing pain around your wisdom tooth
- Swelling in the gums or cheeks
- Difficult and painful chewing and biting
- Pain in neighbouring teeth
Such symptoms may indicate a more serious problem, such as an infected impacted wisdom tooth. It is critical to understand the distinction between a normally erupting wisdom tooth and an impacted wisdom tooth because the latter frequently causes problems that require dental work.
Possible complications of impacted wisdom teeth
When there is not enough space in the dental arcades for the wisdom teeth to erupt fully and appropriately, they get stuck either under the gum line or bone. These teeth are known as impacted wisdom teeth. If left in the mouth, the impacted wisdom tooth can cause a variety of problems and unpleasant symptoms. Here we will list some of them.
Damage to the surrounding teeth
Oftentimes, the impacted wisdom teeth can put force on the nearby teeth and cause them to begin moving out of position. This pressure can also damage the other teeth and lead to cavities and infection of the gum tissue. As a result, you may eventually need to have both your wisdom tooth and the damaged adjacent tooth extracted.
The partially erupted wisdom teeth are more vulnerable to developing tooth decay and cavity. These teeth can easily trap food and accumulate bacteria and debris. Your wisdom tooth may be tricky to keep clean even if you practice good oral hygiene.
As we said, impacted wisdom teeth create a food trap for bacteria to hide in, which is often difficult to clean. This, on the other hand, creates an ideal environment for developing an infection of the soft tissue. As a result, you may experience jaw pain and swollen gums. If left untreated, the infection can spread and cause severe pain.
If you do not remove your infected wisdom tooth, you may develop a cyst filled with fluid around it. It can cause pain and may lead to more serious issues, such as the destruction of nerves and jaw bone.
In most cases, surgical removal of impacted wisdom teeth is the best treatment option. Most extraction procedures are performed by oral and maxillofacial surgeons. Wisdom tooth surgery is not painful since it is done under either local anaesthetic or mild sedation. Occasionally, oral surgeons may use general anaesthesia.
Is wisdom teeth removal always necessary?
When your wisdom teeth have formed in a healthy position without causing any problems or complications related to your other teeth, then they may not need to be removed. The majority of dental professionals, however, recommend removing third molars regardless of whether you are experiencing any symptoms or have asymptomatic impacted wisdom teeth.
In most cases, wisdom teeth do not take part in chewing. Furthermore, they frequently appear sharp and cause injury to the oral mucosa or damage to the other teeth. Third molars are also prone to tooth decay and cavities because they are difficult to clean due to their location at the back of the jaw. Especially problematic are impacted wisdom teeth, which partially erupt or come out in the wrong position due to a limited amount of space in the jaw.
Wisdom teeth extraction is easier in your early twenties or when the teeth are still growing, that is, when the bone surrounding the tooth is not as dense. In this case, recovery would be quicker and easier.