Are Your Wisdom Teeth Coming In?

Are Your wisdom teeth coming in

Wisdom teeth, also known as third molars, are the last teeth to erupt in the mouth. They typically come in between the ages of 17 and 25. Many people have their wisdom teeth extracted because they can cause pain and other problems. In this blog post, we will discuss everything you need to know about wisdom teeth: what they are, when they erupt, why they might need to be extracted, and how extraction is done.

What are Wisdom Teeth?

impacted wisdom teeth

The third and final set of molars that most people acquire in their late teens or early twenties are known as wisdom teeth. They are named as such because they generally arrive around the age when you are deemed grown enough to have “wisdom.”

Wisdom teeth have been around for hundreds of years, but scientists are still unsure why they exist. Some experts feel that wisdom teeth were once essential to human survival. It is believed that wisdom teeth were important to our ancestors since these extra teeth allowed them to crush tougher food items that would otherwise be difficult to digest.

The diet we have today does not require extra teeth designed to grind excessively tough foods. As a result, wisdom teeth are no longer necessary for survival. In fact, the majority of people nowadays have jaws that have evolved to be too small for wisdom teeth. This is why wisdom teeth often become impacted, or trapped in the jaw; because there is no room for them.

Symptoms of Wisdom Tooth Eruption

While some people may develop them earlier or later, you can generally expect your wisdom teeth to erupt between the ages of 17 and 25. Unfortunately, when wisdom teeth do erupt, they tend to cause pain and discomfort. This is the most common sign that your wisdom teeth are erupting. Additionally, wisdom teeth eruption can cause: 

  • Tender, swollen gums
  • Bad breath or a bad taste in your mouth
  • Bleeding gums
  • Difficulty opening the mouth and/or chewing
  • Jaw pain
  • Soreness towards the back of the mouth

If you are around the age of 17-25 and have started to experience one or more of the aforementioned symptoms, then chances are your wisdom teeth are starting to erupt. The best thing to do is call your dentist and schedule an appointment as soon as possible. During your appointment, your dentist will perform an exam and take dental x-rays to determine if your wisdom teeth are erupting. 

Taking dental x-rays will also allow your dentist to determine if your wisdom teeth are impacted. Wisdom teeth that have not fully erupted into the mouth due to being partially or completely trapped in the jawbone are known as impacted wisdom teeth. Unfortunately, impacted wisdom teeth can cause a lot of discomfort and pain, and they can also contribute to other dental issues.  

Impactions can be soft tissue, partial bony, or complete bony. Soft tissue impactions are the most common type of impaction and they are characterized by wisdom teeth that become trapped underneath the gum tissue. A partial bony impaction occurs when the wisdom tooth is stuck in the jawbone.Both soft tissue and partial bony impactions may be partially visible in the mouth. Finally, a complete bony impaction occurs when the wisdom tooth is completely buried in the jawbone and is not visible in the mouth at all. 

Do I Need to Extract my Wisdom Teeth?

wisdom tooth stuck under gums

There is a very good chance that you will need to have your wisdom teeth extracted, especially if they are impacted in any way. This is because wisdom teeth become impacted due to a lack of space in the mouth. Wisdom teeth that are impacted and left untreated can harm neighboring teeth and induce infections, cysts, and tumors. They may also obstruct or misalign your other teeth, making it difficult to clean your mouth properly. For these reasons, it is recommended to extract impacted wisdom teeth. 

The two types of wisdom tooth extraction are simple and surgical. Sedation and anesthesia are used in both cases. When the dentist is able to remove the tooth without injuring the gum tissue, it is known as a simple extraction. A surgical extraction is when the dentist must make a cut in the gums to access the tooth. Despite the fact that there are different types of extractions, the recovery process is relatively similar for both types of extractions. 

With that being said, recovery varies from person to person. The pain and edema typically go down after a few days. You’ll probably have some bruising and bleeding for the first few days as well. After having a wisdom tooth extraction, you should eat soft foods and avoid drinking alcohol or using straws.

In Conclusion

Wisdom teeth are one of the most common dental issues, but they’re also one of the most misunderstood. We went through what wisdom teeth are, when they emerge, and why they must be removed in this blog post. We also covered the various forms of wisdom tooth impactions and extractions (simple vs surgical). Finally, we addressed wisdom tooth extraction recovery and what to anticipate. Don’t put off seeing a dentist if you are experiencing wisdom tooth discomfort. They will be able to tell if your wisdom teeth are emerging and, if necessary, remove them. You will be back to your regular self in no time with good treatment!

Circular Thumbnail Photo of FEmale doctor

Dr. Alina Huang has been practicing dentistry in Manhattan for the last eight years. She was born in New York City, and raised in California where she received her Bachelor’s degree at UCLA, and her D.D.S. at the University of the Pacific in San Francisco. She then made her return to NYC where she completed her General Practice Residency at Montefiore Medical Center and has been working in private practice ever since. She continues her learning by attending courses to stay current with the latest advancements in dentistry and refine her skills.