Wisdom Teeth: What Are They & Why Do They Hurt?
Everything you need to know about your very back molars
What are wisdom teeth?
Coming in during your late teens or early twenties, wisdom teeth (also called “third molars”) are the “final four” of your 32 total permanent teeth.
What’s the issue? It’s pretty common for wisdom teeth not to break through the gums properly—or sometimes not at all.
Why does the back of my mouth hurt?
You may not have enough room in your jaw for your wisdom teeth to break through your gums. Sometimes they come in crooked or angled away from the other molars. This is called impaction.
Left untreated, impacted wisdom teeth can potentially harm surrounding teeth, jawbone and nerves.
My dentist wants to extract my wisdom teeth. Will it hurt?
Painful, impacted wisdom teeth may require extraction, or tooth removal. Most extractions are performed under anesthesia, so the procedure itself is usually painless. Your dentist may prescribe antibiotics and pain medication for use after you leave the office.
My wisdom teeth are coming in pain-free. Should I still see my dentist?
Yes. Your dentist must monitor your wisdom teeth to ensure they’re coming in properly, even if there’s no pain. If there are problems, your dentist can recommend a treatment plan that’s right for you.
What can I expect with a wisdom-teeth extraction?
A wisdom-teeth extraction is a common procedure. Your dentist can evaluate the condition of your molars and let you know what to expect. Keep in mind: taking care of your wisdom teeth now could save you from more severe dental problems in the future.