Wisdom Teeth Complications in Teens

Is your teen starting to show signs of wisdom tooth development or impaction? Our pediatric dentist in Vista can help. We’re able to screen for oral problems caused by wisdom teeth during your child’s routine checkup. Here are some of the most common situations that we see during high school:

Swollen Gums

Do you remember when your infant started teething? They got fussy, had red or swollen gums, and wanted to chew on everything? Your teen will most likely experience many of the same uncomfortable teething symptoms when their wisdom teeth start to erupt.

To help with symptoms, have them take ibuprofen/Motrin as directed to ease the inflammation. A warm salt water rinse can also help soothe their gums.

Infection and Decay in Adjacent Teeth

Erupting wisdom teeth are particularly hard to clean because of where they’re located. If your teen’s wisdom teeth start to erupt, they may be partially erupted, allowing food debris to get trapped down under the gums. In no time at all, cavities and gingivitis will develop, because those spaces are practically impossible to try to clean.

This might not sound like a major concern if your teen is planning to have their wisdom teeth removed. But it can be. Over time, the longer those infections go unaddressed, the bigger risk they pose to the healthy, adjacent teeth. Instead of only having to worry about their wisdom teeth, now we also need to be on the alert to permanent damage in their surrounding smile. It’s best to go ahead and have them proactively removed at your earliest convenience.

Jaw Discomfort

Because of their location at the back of the mouth, wisdom teeth often become impacted inside of the jaw. This can create pressure in the bone, resulting in cysts, stiffness, or even symptoms of TMJ disorder. Most of the discomfort comes from all of the pressure that’s created as their wisdom tooth continues to grow.

Jaw pain from wisdom teeth can also present itself as headaches or earaches, due to the pressure next to the joint. And if your teen is stressed for any reason and grinding their teeth at night, this can amplify the symptoms.

Aches and Pains in Mouth

The discomfort of impacted wisdom teeth tends to come and go over time. There may be a dull or sharp ache in the back of their mouth, similar to what your child experienced when they were teething many years ago. These symptoms typically pop up and go away as quickly as they came on. But if the discomfort tends to be consistent, your teen may need to go ahead and have their wisdom teeth extracted.

It’s not uncommon for these off-and-on discomforts to continue until the wisdom teeth are completely developed. Surprisingly, this lengthy process can last well into someone’s late 20s. Earlier removal is best because it reduces the chances of discomfort or side effects after your teen heads off to college.

Crowded Teeth

One of the most common reasons for wisdom tooth extraction in Vista is that there isn’t room for the third molars to erupt. This situation causes pressure on your child’s adjacent teeth. In time, crowding and changes in their bite will occur.

If your teen has already had braces in the past, they may need a wisdom tooth extraction (in Vista) to prevent relapse. Otherwise, the wisdom teeth can press into their neighbors, pushing them together. In time, the front teeth may start to look crowded or overlapped. Encourage your teen to wear their retainer whenever possible, to reduce the chances of their teeth moving out of alignment.

Visit Our Pediatric Dentist in Vista

If you suspect that your teen is experiencing oral problems caused by wisdom teeth, it’s time to reserve their next visit with our pediatric dentist in Vista. We will perform a full exam and take an X-ray of their developing jaws to see what’s going on inside their smile. And if pediatric wisdom teeth removal is recommended, we will walk you through the next steps. Contact All Smiles Children’s Dentistry today to schedule.

Scroll to Top