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Wisdom teeth typically come in during your late teens or early 20s, the third set of molars located in the very back of the jaw, both top and bottom. These teeth are thought to be an evolutionary response to teeth lost through use and decay. Before modern dentistry, including fluoride treatments and fluoride additions to the water that protect teeth enamel, it was very common for people to lose teeth over time. Having a replacement set of molars probably came in very handy!
However, many people now have excellent dental care, including regular check-ups and fast treatment of cavities and decay. This, plus regular brushing and flossing, means that wisdom teeth are no longer needed to replace lost teeth. Actually, wisdom teeth are more of a disadvantage than an advantage.
About one in four people don’t have wisdom teeth come in at all, but the extra teeth can be much more of a painful disadvantage than an advantage for those who do. The teeth can crowd your other teeth, leading to misalignment and oral health problems, or they can become impacted, coming in at odd angles and hurting or damaging your jaw. Often, early removal is the best way to address wisdom teeth.
While your dentist will be able to spot the wisdom teeth forming when they take annual X-rays, there are other telltale signs that your wisdom teeth are coming in. Many times, oral surgery is the only way to have wisdom teeth removal effectively.
Signs Your Wisdom Teeth Are Coming In
Redness or Swelling
Wisdom teeth often come in crooked, either sideways in the jaw or at an angle. They may not even break through the gum at all, which is referred to as impacted teeth. This not only is painful, but the partially grown-in tooth can lead to infection, too. Infections in your mouth can be quite dangerous and can affect your heart or brain. Redness of your gums at the back of your mouth and swelling in that area are signs that you may need wisdom teeth removal.
When your teeth come in, it hurts! The pain can start mild and progressively worsen, affecting your ability to eat, drink, and talk normally. The swelling can also be painful, and you may not be able to chew near the places where the wisdom teeth are growing.
Headache and Fever
Teething, whether you’re a baby or a teenager, is a painful process. When your wisdom teeth come in, you’ll probably experience a low-grade fever and a headache or aching in your jaw as they emerge. However, wisdom teeth don’t emerge in one steady flow, and so you may have wisdom teeth removal before the teeth fully develop. The symptoms can arise as the teeth grow and then subside for a period of time.
When the wisdom teeth break through the gum, you’ll often see a gum flap, the cut-in part of the gum, where the edge of the wisdom teeth pokes out. This is also called a pericoronal flap, and it’s positioned over the tooth. If you have a gum flap before your wisdom teeth are removed, it’s really important to take good care of this area of your mouth. Food and other debris can get caught in the flap, and this area is also a prime breeding ground for bacteria to form. If you don’t thoroughly rinse this area after every meal, it can quickly cause painful infection and swelling. If the area is inflamed, it can also make wisdom teeth removal more complicated and painful.
Accidentally Biting Your Tongue or Cheek
This is one of the more unusual symptoms of wisdom teeth coming in. As these teeth emerge, you may find yourself biting the back area of your tongue or your teeth as you adjust to the teeth coming in.
Wisdom Teeth Removal in Plano, TX
At NextGen OMS, we have plenty of experience with wisdom teeth removal, whether it’s a straightforward extraction, removing impacted wisdom teeth, or more complicated extractions from the jaw. Our team is professionally trained and certified in oral surgery, and we work with each patient to have a stress-free and smooth wisdom teeth extraction.
We start our process with an X-ray and examination to determine how many wisdom teeth you have coming in and their position. For example, if the teeth are impacted, we can carefully extract them without damaging your jaw.
Is It Time For Wisdom Teeth Removal?
We’ve listed the common physical indications that your wisdom teeth are coming in. It’s often better to have your wisdom teeth extracted before the teeth are fully formed and before the root grows large enough to be completely embedded in your jaw. This makes the procedure less painful and less invasive, and when done correctly, you can have all four wisdom teeth removed at once.
Wisdom teeth extraction isn’t always the solution for everyone who has this third set of molars come in. For people who may have lost a molar and not had it replaced with a dental implant, the extra tooth may truly be a benefit. For other people, those with larger jaws and space in their mouth, there could easily be space for the extra teeth, assuming that they grow in straight and aren’t impacted.
Part of your exam will include our recommendation for whether or not you need wisdom teeth removal and an explanation of what to expect during the process. This includes how we plan to extract the teeth, as well as what you can expect during recovery and aftercare instructions to ensure safe, proper healing.
Schedule Your Appointment Today
Ensure that you have a smooth wisdom teeth removal from the professional oral surgery team at NextGen OMS in Plano, TX. We can tackle even the most complicated extraction, and we offer the best service and care for our patients. If you’re experiencing any signs of wisdom teeth emerging, schedule your appointment and consultation today. Give us a call or use our online contact form to schedule your consultation!