Growing in wisdom teeth is a lot more normal than most people think. You hear all about the crazy stories of wisdom teeth that have to come out, but you never hear detailed accounts of what it's like to actually safely grow them in.
So if you find yourself in the unique situation of growing in your final set of molars, today we're here to offer some interesting insights on what's really going on inside your mouth.
Let's take a detailed look at what it feels like to grow in a wisdom tooth. Whether you have one, two, or all four ready to emerge.
Remember when you were a kid growing in new teeth? Your child tooth would fall out and the gums would be all squishy. And as the new tooth grows in, the gums get a little swollen and sore. This is because the tooth is pushing it's way up through the gums, but it comes into an established socket.
Your wisdom teeth are like that, but a little different. As the brand new teeth grow up toward the gums, they are actually cutting their way through and pushing gums out of the way.
So your gums are going to feel a little squishy and swollen, a lot like when you were a kid. And don't be surprised if they get a little tender before the tooth starts to erupt (dentist slang for peeking through the gumline)
Feeling the Ridge With Your Tongue
Perhaps the coolest part of growing wisdom teeth is the feeling when that first little bit of tooth pokes out of your gums. The tooth isn't fully in, but it's marked the spot where it will appear.
During this time, you'll be able to feel the tiny ridge of tooth with your tongue and you may find some enjoyment poking at it. Don't worry, unlike baby teeth, you can't wiggle your wisdom tooth out with fidgeting.
Temporary Pericoronitis is No Big Deal
You may experience something temporary called pericoronitis, which is when a bit of gums gets wedged between the new tooth and the teeth above or below. In other words, gums swell over the tooth ridge and you accidentally bite it a lot.
Ice and mouthwash help and usually, the tooth will fully push the gums out of the way when it's grown in. So chew on the other side of your mouth in the meantime. If not, check in with your dentist to get the gums cut back to a convenient shape.
Making a Little Room
Wisdom teeth often come in at a "dangerous" angle because they are supposed to help ancient humans deal with lost teeth. So if you have a gap, the wisdom tooth pushes all your other teeth inward to fill it while taking the last spot in your mouth.
But modern humans don't lose teeth all that much. So if your healthy wisdom teeth come it at an angle (one your dentist says is safe), you can expect a little pushing on your other teeth. It might even be beneficial. But it feels really weird.
What the pushing phase feels like is that your gums get soft and a little sore along the line next to the wisdom tooth. One at a time, your other teeth will feel sore and the gums a little soft.
First the tooth next to your wisdom tooth, then the one toward the center from that, then toward the center from that. But only one tooth at a time. If you experience anything more painful than soreness, check with your dentist.
The Gum Gap
Because of the way molars are shaped, there's a 'dip' in the middle of the tooth. This means that as the cutting upper edges of the wisdom tooth come in, there may actually be a 'valley' in the middle that creates a channel straight into your gums.
And it hurts like the dickens if crunchy food gets 'chewed into' the area. This is no big deal and your tooth will grow all the way out soon. But if you do develop the gum gap, simply treat this area gently and be careful how you chew for a few weeks. And, once again, mouthwash is your best friend for all pain and soreness relating to wisdom teeth and your gums.
Becoming a Happy Tooth Monster
The final phase is the best of all: your wisdom tooth grows all the way in. If there's enough room in your mouth for all those teeth, then you can proudly display an unusually full set of choppers as the happy tooth monster that you are. Especially anyone lucky enough to safely grow in all 4 wisdom teeth.
Check In With Your Dentist
And, of course, always remember to keep your dentist in the loop. If your wisdom tooth or gums hurt more than expected, see your dentist. If you're worried that your wisdom tooth is coming in at too steep an angle, see your dentist. And if you develop pericoronitis that doesn't look like it's going away... you get the gist.
Your dentist is there to help you with the big and little details about your teeth. Plus, they will be fascinated to watch the novelty of a healthy wisdom tooth process after removing so many from other patients. For more insights into your wisdom teeth and how to take care of them, contact us today!