The First Signs Of Wisdom Teeth Coming In

People aged 17 to 21, a little give and take, always wonder if their wisdom teeth are coming in and keep looking for the first signs of wisdom teeth coming inBecause 85% of the people have issues with wisdom teeth coming in and have to have them removed, while some don’t have any problems at all. Moreover, a few don’t even get them, their wisdom teeth remain dormant.

So, it’s wise to keep looking for the first signs of wisdom teeth 1coming in, as they also indicate whether you will have to get them removed or adjusted perfectly fine inside your mouth.

1. Wisdom Teeth

Get Wise About Wisdom Teeth

Wisdom teeth are the last set of adult teeth to come into the mouth. These are the third row of molars, two at the top and two at the bottom, erupting at the very back of the mouth, making a total of 32 teeth in an adult mouth.

It is presumed that when these teeth come in, you become comparatively wiser. However, this is not the case. Wisdom teeth don’t make you more mature or smart. In reality, they don’t have any practical use in present times.

Although it was useful for our ancestors, wisdom teeth serve no real purpose since our eating and cooking habits have evolved a lot in all these years.

Since these are the last teeth to arrive in the human mouth, they cause many issues. One of the issues is impacted teeth and why you should keep looking for the first signs of wisdom teeth coming in.

2. Impacted Wisdom Teeth

Impacted Wisdom Teeth

Impacted wisdom teeth are the third set of molars at the back of the mouth that have difficulty breaking through the gums or don’t have enough room to emerge and develop properly.

Impacted wisdom teeth can cause jaw pain, damage to other teeth, and other dental problems. In most cases, these repercussions are immediate, and people have to get their surgical extraction right away, but in other cases, these complications become visible after a while.

Cleaning impacted wisdom teeth is difficult, as they lead to tooth decay in the very back. In some cases, this infection develops and affects your other teeth too.

So sooner or later, although it is preferred to get it done before the age of 25, many people have to get their wisdom teeth removed for better oral health. And for that, you need to know the first signs of wisdom teeth coming in.

3. First Signs of Wisdom Teeth

Some of the common symptoms and first signs of wisdom teeth coming in are mentioned here. These also indicate that if the wisdom teeth breaking through the gum line need immediate action or not.

3.1. Pain in the Nearby Area

man experiencing toothache
Image by Sam Williams from Pixabay

One of the first signs of wisdom teeth coming in is persistent pain and irritation in the nearby area, where the third molars are supposed to go in. However, if you are experiencing sharp pain radiating toward your eyes, head or ears might mean that you have an abscessed tooth.

An abscessed tooth is a pocket of pus formed on various tooth parts due to bacterial infection.

This pain is accompanied by itching in the gums, which generally makes people irritable and restless. It is a mild pain, like a dull throbbing sensation in that spot and the nearby teeth.

3.2. Swollen and Tender Gums

 wisdom teeth
Photo by NeONBRAND on Unsplash /Copyright 2021

Red and swollen gums are one of the first signs of wisdom teeth coming in. These are caused by the flap of the extra gum tissue residing next to the tooth due to the impacted wisdom tooth partially erupting there.

These swollen gums are also very tender and feel scrubbed after brushing. In some cases, the pain and tenderness get so worse that you have to forego brushing in that area altogether for a while.

This creates discomfort around the back of your mouth on either side or can be on just one side. And since in adults, the jaw does not grow anymore, this noticeable gum swelling makes the jaw motions difficult.

3.3. Difficulty in Opening Mouth

Pain in the areas around the impacted wisdom teeth makes the jaw stiff and causes jaw pain. Therefore people have difficulties opening their mouths or executing healthy chewing.

Generally, swelling in the gums occurs because of impacted wisdom teeth pushing the existing teeth to make room for themselves. This swelling around the impacted wisdom tooth makes jaw movement difficult. Let alone eating and chewing food.

This is one of the most noticeable first signs of wisdom teeth coming in.

3.4. Mouth Bad Breath and Unpleasant Taste

contemplative gesture closeup
Photo by Nsey Benajah on Unsplash

Although bad breath from your mouth can be due to various reasons, you might have difficulty understanding how a partially erupted tooth can cause it. But the reality is that the foul smell from your mouth can be due to an impacted wisdom tooth.

Impacted wisdom teeth are very difficult to clean. Food pieces get trapped in it and form decay there and perform as the source of foul smell from the mouth.

These altercations in your oral health also affect the taste of your mouth, and you are left with an unpleasant taste as a residual. That doesn’t go away even after brushing.

So, if you are also left with a foul smell and taste in your mouth, you can consider it as one of the first signs of wisdom teeth coming in.

3.5. Cysts and Cavities

It’s not unusual for the impacted wisdom teeth to cause cysts and cavities in your mouth, making the wisdom tooth extraction necessary.

Cysts and other harmless jaw tumors are small sacs of fluid that accumulate and then harm nearby teeth. It affects the root of the second molars and causes jaw bone destruction, although very rare.

These are some of the more serious symptoms and first signs of wisdom teeth coming into potentially serious complications.

Cavities are caused by the food trapped in these new teeth that are not properly grown. In most cases, bacteria from these third molars spread to the teeth in the second molar.

3.6. Sinus Issues

Our eyes, ears, nose, and mouth are all connected through a web of veins. And if one gets affected, you will experience some issues in the others too.

So, sinus pain, pressure, and congestion, especially in the upper jaw area, all serve as one of the first signs of wisdom teeth coming in.

3.7. Triggered Headaches

worried man stressed portrait 1280
Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

When the impacted tooth is blocked under the gum line, it creates a lot of pressure to break through the gums. And the pressure triggers headaches.

So if you are experiencing headaches out of the blue with mild fevers, you can see them as one of the first signs of wisdom teeth coming in.

3.8. Infection in the Gums

close up tooth model black background
Photo by Ozkan Guner on Unsplash

The distorted growth of impacted wisdom teeth in haphazard positions because of insufficient space makes them prone to infections. And with the scarcity of brushing and flossing in that area leaves a perfect spot for infections to grow and thrive.

Some of the definite symptoms of gum infections 2are:

  1. Pus seeping out of the gums.
  2. Sore and swollen lymph glands under the jaw.
  3. Tender and bleeding gums.
  4. Swelling in gums and cheek swelling.
  5. Intense pain in opening the mouth.
  6. Fever.

This is one of the first signs of wisdom teeth coming in, where the removal of impacted wisdom teeth is urgent as it can lead to severe dental emergencies, which, if not properly treated, can impact oral health for eternity.

4. Wisdom Teeth Removal

If we know the first signs of wisdom teeth coming in, we can tell if the wisdom teeth are coming or not. And also if it will need to be extracted right away.

If you want to prevent any future dental problems, it is recommended to get your wisdom tooth extracted if it is causing any discomfort to you. This is because, eventually, the discomfort in this newly erupted wisdom tooth may create complications in your gum tissue.

4.1. Surgical Removal

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Photo by Caroline LM on Unsplash

Not all wisdom teeth need to be removed, but surgical extraction of the wisdom tooth is done for those causing oral pain and dental complications, including tooth decay and plaque.

The reasons for which surgical method is applied are:

  1. Infection in the gums.
  2. These last adult teeth affect the neighboring teeth
  3. Tooth decay in the emerging tooth.
  4. Cysts or small tumors in wisdom teeth.

A panoramic dental X-ray captures all of the teeth and jaw bone in one image and states whether or not your third molars need a surgical extraction or not.

5. Asymptomatic Impacted Wisdom Teeth

It is called asymptomatic if the wisdom tooth is not causing any apparent dental issues like tooth pain. These are potentially serious dental problems as they are not on the surface and thrive under the veil of ignorance.

For people believing that if they are not experiencing any unpleasant symptoms, there can’t be an issue in their dental health, oral surgeons argue that a symptom-free wisdom tooth does not mean a disease-free wisdom tooth.3

The procedure of tooth removal becomes even more difficult in the later stages of life. It is better to get examined by your dentist and get your wisdom teeth extracted, if required, at an early age to prevent any future problems.

So, if we hear from the specialists, then in the argument of surgical removal versus retention, surgical extraction wins. Although the extraction gives rise to tooth sensitivity, it goes away with time and is worth it if it prevents gum disease.     

6. Conclusion

Many people experience pain or discomfort in the back of the mouth as their wisdom teeth begin to push through the gums. This pain can range from mild to severe and might be intermittent or constant.

Swelling and redness around the gum area where the wisdom teeth are erupting can be a sign of inflammation as the teeth attempt to break through the gum tissue. Gums around the emerging wisdom teeth can become tender and may bleed when brushing or flossing due to irritation caused by the teeth pushing against the gum tissue.

Wisdom teeth coming in can sometimes disrupt the alignment of existing teeth, causing changes in the bite or the way the upper and lower teeth fit together. Difficulty cleaning around partially erupted wisdom teeth can lead to trapped food particles and bacteria, contributing to bad breath.

It’s important to note that not everyone will experience all these signs, and some individuals may have no symptoms at all. Regular dental check-ups and X-rays are crucial for monitoring the growth and alignment of wisdom teeth, as well as for assessing any potential issues they may cause.

If you’re experiencing discomfort or suspect that your wisdom teeth are coming in, consulting with a dentist or oral surgeon is advisable to determine the best course of action, which may involve extraction if there’s a risk of complications or crowding of existing teeth.

Hence, look for the first signs of wisdom teeth mentioned here and immediately get an appointment with your dentist to get it checked. 


1. Is pain always a sign of wisdom teeth coming in?

A. Pain is a common sign, but not everyone experiences pain when their wisdom teeth come in. Some people might only feel minor discomfort or no symptoms at all.

2. How long does the pain last?

A. The duration of pain can vary. Pain might be more intense when the teeth are breaking through the gums and can last for a few days to a couple of weeks. However, this discomfort should gradually subside as the teeth fully emerge.

3. Can wisdom teeth come in without any symptoms?

A. Yes, some individuals might have asymptomatic wisdom teeth that emerge without causing pain or discomfort. Regular dental check-ups are crucial for monitoring their growth and ensuring they’re not causing hidden issues.

Read more

  1. Renton, Tara, and Nairn HF Wilson. “Problems with erupting wisdom teeth: signs, symptoms, and management.” British Journal of General Practice 66.649 (2016): e606-e608. ↩︎
  2. Little, Paul, et al. “Probiotic capsules and xylitol chewing gum to manage symptoms of pharyngitis: a randomized controlled factorial trial.” CMAJ 189.50 (2017): E1543-E1550. ↩︎
  3. Dodson, Thomas B. “The management of the asymptomatic, disease-free wisdom tooth: removal versus retention.” Atlas of the Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery Clinics 20.2 (2012): 169-176. ↩︎

Last Updated on by ayeshayusuf


Akanksha Raj

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