Wisdom teeth, also known as third molars, are the last set of teeth to emerge in the back of your mouth. They usually appear between the ages of 17 and 25, but not everyone develops them. Some people may have one, two, three, or all four wisdom teeth, while others may not have any at all. If you’re wondering whether your wisdom teeth are coming in, there are several signs and symptoms to look out for. In this article, we’ll discuss how to tell if your wisdom teeth are coming in and what you can do to alleviate any discomfort.
What Are Wisdom Teeth?
Wisdom teeth are the third and final set of molars that grow at the back of your mouth. Most people have four wisdom teeth, one in each corner of the mouth. However, some people may have fewer or more than four wisdom teeth. Wisdom teeth usually emerge between the ages of 17 and 25, but they can appear earlier or later in life. In some cases, wisdom teeth may not emerge at all.
Wisdom teeth are called such because they emerge at a time when a person is considered to have gained some wisdom. However, the emergence of wisdom teeth can also cause pain and discomfort, especially if there isn’t enough space in the mouth for them to grow properly.
Signs and Symptoms of Wisdom Teeth Coming In
Not everyone experiences symptoms when their wisdom teeth are coming in. However, some people may experience one or more of the following signs and symptoms:
1. Pain or Discomfort
Pain or discomfort in the back of the mouth is a common sign that your wisdom teeth are coming in. The pain may be mild or severe and can be felt on one or both sides of the mouth. The pain may also radiate to the ears, jaw, or neck.
Swelling in the gums or jaw is another sign that your wisdom teeth are coming in. The swelling may be mild or severe and can make it difficult to open your mouth or chew food.
Redness or inflammation in the gums around the emerging wisdom teeth is another sign that they are coming in. The gums may also bleed or feel tender to the touch.
4. Bad Breath
Bad breath or a bad taste in the mouth is another sign that your wisdom teeth are coming in. This is because the emerging teeth can create pockets in the gums where food and bacteria can get trapped, leading to an unpleasant odor or taste.
If there isn’t enough space in your mouth for your wisdom teeth to grow properly, they may cause crowding or shifting of your other teeth. This can lead to bite problems, misalignment, or other dental issues.
What to Do If Your Wisdom Teeth Are Coming In
If you’re experiencing pain or discomfort from your emerging wisdom teeth, there are several things you can do to alleviate the symptoms:
1. Use Pain Relief Medication
Over-the-counter pain relief medication such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen can help to relieve pain and reduce inflammation. Follow the instructions on the label and don’t exceed the recommended dose.
2. Apply Ice Packs
Applying ice packs to the affected area can help to reduce swelling and numb the pain. Wrap a bag of ice or a cold pack in a towel and hold it against your cheek for 15-20 minutes at a time.
3. Rinse with Salt Water
Rinsing your mouth with warm salt water can help to reduce inflammation and promote healing. Mix a teaspoon of salt in a glass of warm water and swish it around your mouth for 30 seconds before spitting it out.
4. Maintain Good Oral Hygiene
Brush and floss your teeth regularly to keep your mouth clean and prevent infection. Use a soft-bristled toothbrush and be gentle around the emerging wisdom teeth.
5. Visit Your Dentist
If your symptoms persist or worsen, make an appointment with your dentist. They can examine your mouth and take X-rays to determine the position of your wisdom teeth and whether they need to be removed.
Wisdom teeth are the last set of molars to emerge in the back of your mouth. They usually appear between the ages of 17 and 25, but not everyone develops them. If you’re experiencing pain, swelling, redness, bad breath, or crowding in your mouth, it may be a sign that your wisdom teeth are coming in. To alleviate the symptoms, you can use pain relief medication, apply ice packs, rinse with salt water, maintain good oral hygiene, and visit your dentist. If your wisdom teeth are causing problems, your dentist may recommend removing them to prevent further complications.