Teething as an Adult: What to Do When Your Wisdom Teeth Grow In (Part 2)

Adult Wisdom TeethWelcome back to the second half of our article on what it’s like to grow in healthy wisdom teeth as an adult and what to do about it if you find yourself to be one of the lucky few with non-problematic wisdom teeth. Last time we talked about why wisdom teeth grow in and why yours can be perfectly fine compared to the established norms. Join us today as we pick up at what it feels like when those extra adult teeth finally find their way to the surface of your gums.

What it Feels Like to Grow In Healthy Wisdom Teeth

When your wisdom teeth start to grow in, or ‘erupt’ as we say in the dental profession, you’ll definitely notice but it’s not as painful as wisdom teeth stories might have you thinking. Wisdom teeth tend to come in one at a time, often years apart and when this happens, it can seem pretty strange. First, your gums will get swollen and a bit sore as the tooth pushes up through the surface and you may find yourself biting the inside of your cheek more often. The area may get sore, swell, sting, and be sensitive to pressure. Soon, you’ll notice a little ridge as your tooth breaks through the surface. Congratulations, you’re now a teething adult.

Things get a little easier once the entire top of your currently erupting wisdom tooth makes its appearance. The swelling and discomfort is mostly caused by the gums being pushed out of the way and, to a certain extent, the teeth cutting their way out. After this, the rest of the tooth can come through and the gums can settle into their new configuration.

What to Do About Your Growing Wisdom Teeth

So here you are in your 20’s with sore gums in the back of your mouth. Maybe it stings or maybe it just feels a little swollen, but treating your gums right during this phase is incredibly important. First, use mouthwash regularly. This will make sure your rupturing gums don’t become infected. If you’re experiencing pain or swelling, use a small piece of ice to numb, cool, and reduce swelling. This is also a great way to deal with the cheek biting problem while your mouth adjusts to the new layer of teeth. If food gets stuck in your gums, chew on the other side for a while and don’t be shy about fishing crumbs out when you need to. If the stinging sensation or swelling start to bother you, use a tiny dab oral pain reliever like Orajel or Anbesol directly on the area.

When to See Your Dentist

During this time, it’s important to keep up regular appointments with your dentist and keep them informed about the progress of each of your four wisdom teeth. They can help you make sure that your sore gums don’t get infected and watch for signs of infection risk. If you’re curious about how the other three wisdom teeth are coming along, your dentist can take new X-rays to show you where, approximately when, and at what angle of entry you can expect any remaining wisdom teeth. Don’t be surprised if you only have one, two, or three. Number of wisdom teeth varies from person to person. Your dentist can also help you deal with any pain or discomfort caused by the erupting tooth.

And, of course, if you start to feel like there is something wrong with your wisdom tooth eruption other than the usual swelling and soreness, go to see your doctor immediately. This could be the result of infection, a slightly-too-sharp angle of entry, or some other issue that your dentist will be able to identify and find a solution for.

For adults who are growing in their wisdom teeth with none of the traditionally extreme problems, it can be a bit strange to re-experience the sensation of a new tooth, especially when there’s not an empty socket to be filled like when most of your adult teeth grew in. However, if you successfully grow in even one additional tooth, much less all four, you can walk around proudly proclaiming to have more teeth than the average human. Then smile really big to show off those unusually numerous pearly whites.

For more guidance on how to take care of your wisdom teeth or other dental concerns, contact us today!

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