Wisdom teeth are the molars that are at the very back of both the upper and lower jaws. X Examine the source These four teeth are the last teeth to erupt or grow out of the gums and can function; this usually occurs during a person’s adolescence or early young adulthood. However, sometimes wisdom teeth do not erupt at all or only partially and become impacted if there is not enough space in the jaw or mouth. It is important to distinguish between a normally erupted wisdom tooth and an impacted wisdom tooth because impacted teeth can cause problems that need to be addressed by the dentist.
Recognizing the Symptoms of Wisdom Tooth Eruption
Know where to look. Wisdom teeth are the last molars in each row of teeth in the upper and lower jaws. These teeth function to grind food, but emerge (erupt) as the jaw grows and lengthens during late adolescence. Open your mouth wide and use a pen flashlight to see the back of your mouth. These teeth are considered to be the third set of molars, which are five teeth behind the incisors or canines.
See if there is enough room for the other molars to erupt. Wisdom teeth do not always erupt if there is not enough space in the jaw.
If your teeth are clustered and/or crooked, it’s likely that your wisdom teeth won’t erupt fully.
Use your tongue to feel the teeth behind the second molars. Once you know where the wisdom tooth has erupted, feel it along the gum line with your tongue. When it erupts, the wisdom teeth (or other teeth) begin to poke through the gums. The top of the tooth, called the crest or crown of the tooth, penetrates the gums first. Before the top of the tooth erupts through the gum tissue ( gingival ) and causes discomfort, you will feel a hard bump on the gum behind the second molar.
If your tongue isn’t long enough to reach the back of your gums, use your index finger to feel it. Clean your finger before putting it in your mouth.
Your tongue tends to be drawn subconsciously to sharp edges or parts of the mouth that are sensitive to pain, especially when it’s new.
Be aware of sensitivity to pain in the gums or jaw. When wisdom teeth erupt, you can expect mild discomfort when the crown cuts through the sensitive gum tissue. At the very least be aware of short-term dull, light pain, pressure, or throbbing at the back of the gums or nearby jawbone. This pain can be more severe if the erupting wisdom tooth is bent due to the jaw being filled with teeth. On the other hand, these symptoms can be subtle if the wisdom teeth appear perpendicular and in a good position to the other teeth.
Pain from wisdom tooth eruption will be worse at night if you are accustomed to grinding your jaw and/or molars while sleeping.
Chewing gum or hard, crunchy foods can also aggravate wisdom teeth and make symptoms worse.
Look for redness and swelling. Wisdom teeth can also trigger redness and inflammation in the sensitive gum tissue. You can feel the inflamed gums with your tongue or see it when your mouth is wide open. Use a pen flashlight to get a better view. Red and swollen gum tissue is called gingivitis . Inflammation of the wisdom teeth makes it difficult for sufferers to chew food. In fact, people with gingivitis tend to bite the inside of the cheeks and/or tongue more often because it can crowd the mouth.
You may also see blood in the erupted wisdom teeth (or red saliva). This is not uncommon, but it can happen.
You can also see a “gum tongue” in the eruption of wisdom teeth, which is called a pericoronal flap .
As your gums swell, you may have difficulty opening your mouth to eat. This usually occurs in lower wisdom teeth due to inflammation affecting the masseter muscle , which is involved in opening the mouth. As a result, you may need to drink watery foods and drinks for several days (don’t use a straw as this can dry out the socket).
Watch for the growth of wisdom teeth. After penetrating the surface of the gums, the crown will continue to push until it reaches the height of the other molars. This process takes a few weeks to months and you can see if the teeth are growing straight or not. If they don’t grow straight, they tend to crowd into the other molars, pushing and tilting the other teeth in front of the mouth (which is what you see when you smile).
Wisdom teeth that erupt at an angle can create a “domino effect”, which in turn affects the other teeth making them appear twisted or uneven.
If you feel your front teeth suddenly look crooked, compare your current smile to the smile in old photos.
Once wisdom teeth have been removed (extracted), tilted and twisted teeth can straighten themselves naturally after a few weeks or months.
Recognizing the Symptoms of Impacted Wisdom Tooth
Understand about wisdom tooth impaction. Impacted wisdom teeth are teeth that do not erupt at all (and remain in the jawbone below the gum line) or do not erupt normally. These teeth can get stuck under the gum “tongue” or grow at extreme angles, sometimes even horizontally instead of vertically. It’s important to remember that impacted wisdom teeth don’t always cause problems or symptoms, and don’t always need to be treated by a dentist.
It is common for a person to have a combination of fully erupted, partially erupted and impacted wisdom teeth in one mouth.
The longer a wisdom tooth stays in the mouth, the more its roots will develop, making it difficult to remove if symptoms occur.
Try not to ignore severe pain and inflammation. Impacted wisdom teeth do not always cause symptoms, but when they do, the pain and inflammation tends to be severe. In contrast to the mild discomfort that usually occurs with the eruption of wisdom teeth, impacted teeth are sometimes accompanied by severe throbbing pain (in the gums and jaw), swelling, headache, stiff neck, earache, and/or difficulty opening the mouth. If you experience these symptoms, visit a doctor immediately because the eruption of wisdom teeth is not normal.
The symptom that distinguishes eruption and impaction of wisdom teeth is usually the level of pain. Impaction usually causes pain and swelling that is more severe and lasting, and usually will not heal unless the tooth is extracted.
The discomfort of wisdom tooth eruption only lasts while the crown of the tooth pushes against the gum line, while impacted teeth still cause pain after or even when the tooth is not visible.
If the wisdom teeth do not erupt vertically in their normal position, you may feel constant pain or discomfort that radiates across the jaw to the middle row.
Watch for signs of infection. A partially erupted or impacted wisdom tooth increases the risk of an infection called pericoronitis drastically. Impacted wisdom teeth can create a small space under the pericoronal flap where bacteria collect and multiply. Bacteria can feed on enamel, bone, and gum tissue. Common symptoms of a wisdom tooth infection are: a lot of inflammation, severe pain (sharp and/or throbbing), low-grade fever, swollen lymph nodes in the neck and along the jaw, pus in the gingival inflammation , bad breath, and a bad taste in the mouth.
Pus is a gray-white fluid made of white blood cells. These cells are specifically tasked with destroying the surrounding bacteria, and in the end they die and form pus.
Bad breath is the result of bacterial waste products, pus and blood seeping from infected wisdom teeth.
Know when you should visit the dentist. You should see your dentist if you have severe symptoms that last for more than a few days or if you notice any signs of infection. He will do an X-ray scan, give anesthesia/anaesthesia, and remove the problem wisdom tooth. Doctors may also prescribe antibiotics before extracting the tooth to prevent the infection from spreading within the blood vessels. Wisdom teeth extracted before the age of 20 usually give the best results because the roots are not fully developed.
Complications of wisdom tooth infection can be: abscesses in the teeth or gums, cysts and septicemia (blood infection caused by bacteria).
The Indonesian Doctors Association recommends that teenagers between the ages of 16-19 have their wisdom teeth checked by a dentist.