By Last Updated: June 30, 2022

When Do Wisdom Teeth Come InMost people get excited when their baby teeth fall out to make way for their adult teeth. But do not forget that you still have one set of teeth waiting to come out when you are a bit older. And if you think that “teething” is only for babies until the pre-pubertal age, the wisdom teeth will prove you wrong.

So when do the wisdom teeth come in? In your late teens or early twenties, you can experience “teething” with your wisdom teeth. Some usual symptoms you can expect are tenderness of the gums and pain in the area. But, these are not the only indications that your wisdom teeth are about to come in. Carry on reading to find out what they are, along with the wisdom teeth treatments.

What are wisdom teeth?

The wisdom teeth, or your third molars, are the final teeth to emerge in the mouth. They are the farthest teeth and often come out around the age of 18 – 20 when you are perhaps a little “wiser”.

While some are lucky that their wisdom teeth come out properly in the mouth, the majority are not very fortunate. Usually, the jaws are only able to accommodate up to the second molars. So, the wisdom teeth come out in an awkward position. Some are diagonally positioned, while some do not even emerge and are left underneath the bone. These are called impacted wisdom teeth.

Signs That The Wisdom Teeth Are Coming In

So how do you know when the wisdom teeth are about to come in? There are several telltale signs to watch out for, such as:

  • Red and swollen gums behind the second molars
  • Tender gums that easily bleed
  • Difficulty in opening and closing the mouth
  • Jaw pains that radiate up to the temples
  • Pain when eating
  • Bad breath
  • Sensitive teeth
  • Bad taste in the mouth
  • White speck behind the second molars

The pain level can range from very mild to lingering. Sometimes, you may encounter severe headaches and ear pain. This is because of the location of the wisdom teeth. It is near the jaw and ear, so the pain would usually radiate. This would often cause difficulty with the daily routine, prompting an emergency visit to the dentist.

Diagnosing an Impacted Wisdom Teeth

An impacted wisdom tooth can have some of its crown visible in your mouth (partially impacted), or it may never break through the gums (fully impacted).

Because some wisdom teeth may never come out from hiding, there is no better way to diagnose than by getting a full mouth X-ray. This determines the exact location and angulation of your wisdom teeth, even when it is tucked beneath your jawbone.

Regular dental check-ups can also help to identify the placement of your wisdom teeth. As your dentist routinely checks your mouth, they can detect early signs that your wisdom teeth are about to come in. Then, they can recommend a full mouth X-ray for proper diagnosis.

Problems with the Wisdom Teeth

While some teeth emerge normally in the mouth without causing any problems, this is not the case for wisdom teeth. Being the most commonly impacted teeth in the mouth, your third molars are associated with several dental problems.

Damage to adjacent teeth

A partially impacted wisdom tooth can grow at an angle against your second molars. As it continues to come out, it will keep hitting your other tooth. And over time, this will cause irreversible damage. Infection and even teeth crowding may also occur as the wisdom tooth pushes against your other teeth.


There is a higher chance of decay on a partially erupted wisdom tooth and the tooth next to it. Food gets easily trapped between these two teeth. And, because it is too far back, it may be difficult to brush and floss this area. So, bacteria can easily thrive to cause tooth decay.

Gum disease

When the wisdom tooth does not completely break through the gums, a flap of gum tissue is left covering it. The flap is prone to gum disease, trauma, and infection. This is called pericoronitis, an inflammatory condition on the gums that leads to severe pain whenever you chew and eat.


All teeth that are yet to erupt have a sac surrounding them. This disappears as the tooth comes out. But because the wisdom teeth are usually unerupted, their sac remains and gets filled with fluid. If left untreated, the cyst can eat away at your jawbone.

To make sure you do not experience these problems, make sure you visit your dentist regularly for dental check-ups. They will assess the condition of your wisdom tooth to know if wisdom tooth surgery is needed.

Treatments for Wisdom Teeth

After getting an X-ray, your dentist should be able to create a treatment plan for your wisdom teeth. The treatment depends on the existing symptoms and the position of the wisdom teeth with relevance to the surrounding structures. Pain and relevant risks prompt wisdom tooth extraction.

Treatment planning

Because the wisdom tooth is usually impacted, thorough planning is done before surgery. This ensures that the treatment will go smoothly and the tooth will be extracted without complications. Once your surgeon has identified how to safely remove the tooth, the surgical area will be numbed so you can proceed with surgery.

Wisdom tooth surgery

For proper removal, your surgeon will need to gain access to your wisdom tooth first. This will be done by incising along your gum to expose the partially impacted tooth or your bone. Some bone removal may also be needed, especially for a completely unerupted tooth.

Then, the wisdom tooth will be removed by carefully loosening it from its place. When it is completely retrieved, the gums will be closed and allowed to heal. Around 7 – 10 days are needed for healing. Make sure to follow your surgeon’s post-op instructions for favorable recovery.

Do all wisdom teeth need to be removed?

Not all wisdom teeth need to be extracted. Some wisdom teeth do not cause problems. If so, they can be left in place. Just make sure to visit your dentist for a routine assessment so early intervention and treatment can be done if necessary.

Schedule Your Initial Dental Exam Today

If you’re having problems with your wisdom teeth, have it looked at by our dental professionals. At Sierra Dental, we are fully equipped with the latest in dental medicine and have the valued expertise of highly-skilled dental surgeons to ensure safe and effective wisdom tooth surgery.

You can’t keep an impacted wisdom tooth from occurring, but you can prevent the complications that may come along with it. Visit us at Sierra Dental today for world-class dental care in the heart of Calgary.