Ironically, wisdom teeth don’t seem very smart, as they are always getting stuck below other teeth and growing in the wrong direction. For many, wisdom teeth cause nothing but pain and problems and it’s best to stop the trail of destruction before it’s too late.
The Ins and More Importantly Outs of Wisdom Teeth
What are Wisdom Teeth?
Don’t be fooled! Wisdom teeth do not actually make you smarter, although that would probably make the pain and problems worth it. Wisdom teeth are actually the third of the molar series to grow and are located at the back behind your last set of molars. When your wisdom teeth erupt, you grow two on the top and two on the bottom.
When Do Wisdom Teeth Erupt?
If you thought that by the time you turned thirteen your days of growing teeth would be over, you are sadly mistaken. Although you develop a full set of permanent teeth by your early teens, you don’t develop all your teeth. The wisdom teeth are the last teeth to erupt and usually come in between the ages of 16 and 25.
Funnily enough, this is the actual reason for their misleading name, since they start to grow around the time of becoming an adult.
What to Expect from Erupting Wisdom Teeth
The first thing to expect is to actually expect nothing at all. Although painful wisdom teeth are a common problem, not everyone experiences it. It is actually possible for your wisdom teeth to come in straight, well spaced and positioned properly – or in fact not erupt at all.
More often than not, the growth of wisdom teeth goes sideways – sometimes even literally. The experience of wisdom tooth growth is different for everyone, but common problems include:
- Partially erupted wisdom teeth, also known as impacted wisdom teeth
- Crooked wisdom teeth
- Wisdom-tooth related crowding
How to Tell if Your Wisdom Teeth Are Coming in..
Symptoms may vary depending on the way in which your wisdom tooth actually grows. If you experience any of the following symptoms, the best plan of action is to visit your dentist as soon as possible. Commonplace symptoms include:
- General tooth pain
- Feeling crooked teeth at the back of your mouth
- Gum or jaw pain
- Redness or swelling of the gums
- Trouble chewing food
Erupting wisdom teeth have the tendency to cause gum irritation, as the tooth is protruding through sensitive tissue. So, even if the tooth erupts normally, you may experience some soreness.
In the case that earlier symptoms were ignored or went unnoticed, more advanced and serious symptoms could develop. The most common of the late symptoms is a wisdom tooth infection. An infection is most likely to develop when the wisdom tooth is crooked or impacted. As a result, little pockets of space could form beneath the pericoronal flap. These pockets of space create the ideal spot for bacteria to build-up and eventually cause infection.
Problematic wisdom teeth that cause crowding can also lead to crooked front teeth if left untreated.
What To Do If You Notice Symptoms of Wisdom Tooth Growth
Immediate Relief from Your Symptoms
Are you experiencing pain and irritation but need some sort of short-term relief between now and your next appointment? Fortunately, there are a few things you can do to help yourself deal with the symptoms. You could try gently rubbing your finger or an ice cube over the affected area. The most important thing to remember when doing this is to sanitise your fingers.
You could also try taking over the counter painkillers such as ibuprofen to help you manage the pain. Whilst antiseptic mouthwash will help reduce your risk of infection and prevent any additional pain.
Treating The Problem
The first step to treating the problem is identifying the severity of the problem. You may think that tooth extraction is the only option and have already prepared yourself for the worse. This is not the case, as it is still might be possible for your teeth to grow in a suitable position.