If you or your teenager has been experiencing jaw or tooth pain, especially towards the back of the mouth or behind the molars, it may due to erupting wisdom teeth. While this process is normal, it is important to book a trip to the dentist to make sure there are no complications.
Also known as third molars, wisdom teeth typically begin erupting sometime between the ages of 17 and 25. For eruption to occur normally, there must be room at the back of the jaw to accommodate these teeth. Most people who have all of their permanent teeth do not have sufficient space, and their wisdom teeth fail to erupt properly. This can lead to crooked teeth, bouts of pain or even infection down the line.
HOW TO TELL IF YOUR WISDOM TEETH ARE ERUPTING
The signs to look for include the following:
- Swelling of the gums at the back of the jaw
- Difficulty with opening mouth/swallowing
- Pain at back of mouth/back of molars
- Generalised jaw pain or headaches
POTENTIAL PROBLEMS CAUSED BY ERUPTING WISDOM TEETH
As wisdom teeth grow, they can become misaligned. This can crowd the surrounding teeth and press on nerves in the jaw, causing considerable pain. Pain, redness, tenderness and swelling around the site are all common signs that your wisdom teeth are pushing through and can be cause for concern if left unattended.
As wisdom teeth erupt through the surface of the gums, bacteria can enter through open tissue, potentially resulting in infection. Mouth infections can progress and impact your overall well-being, and could cause you to need an emergency extraction. Avoid this by getting your teeth checked as they start coming in to monitor the situation before it’s too late.
Signs of infection include:
- Discharge coming out of the gum
- Red, inflamed gum near wisdom teeth
- Lymph glands under the jaw becoming swollen and sore
When wisdom teeth cannot fit onto the jaw, they can become impacted against the teeth in front – becoming trapped in place as their roots continue to elongate. The longer that they are impacted, the more likely they are to cause health problems and discomfort.