rendering of the first signs of wisdom teeth coming in

Wisdom Teeth: Everything You Need to Know


Of all the permanent teeth that grow in once a patient’s baby teeth have naturally fallen out, wisdom teeth are often the last that erupt. Most patients experience the first signs wisdom teeth coming in from the ages of 17 and 25. However, some patients experience their full emergence only in their 30s and 40s. 

Appearing behind the molars, wisdom teeth are placed in a way that they have a lot of impact on the alignment on the rest of the teeth, and so the angle, direction, and pace at which they grow are crucial. Apart from this, wisdom teeth are also one of the most well-known and recognized teeth because the process of growing them can be notoriously difficult and painful. Wisdom teeth that are erupting can affect not only adjacent teeth but also surrounding gum tissue, which can be concerning if they are not growing in properly. Some patients even opt to have them removed because of this. 

The period after the first signs of wisdom teeth coming in is crucial, as it can come with minor to major risks and complications. Therefore, watching out for these early indicators and consulting with trained dental professionals is highly recommended. To learn more about the signs and symptoms to watch out for and the best way to approach them, learn how ALINA works and read more in this quick guide. 

What are the first signs of wisdom teeth coming in?

The first signs of wisdom teeth coming in are a result of the tooth beginning to push up against the gums before they eventually emerge. Some of the most common indicators include: 

  • Swelling and sensitivity

Swelling, whether it is on one side or both sides behind the molars, are one of the most commonly observed signs that wisdom teeth are ready to erupt. This causes sensitivity in the affected area, with some patients reporting minor to significant discomfort. Especially when the tongue or other objects brush up against the part where the wisdom teeth are growing in, patients can sometimes experience pain as a result of this sensitivity.

  • Headaches 

Sometimes, manifestations of an erupting wisdom tooth are not confined to the mouth area. When wisdom teeth become trapped under the patient’s gums or begin growing in at the wrong angle or position, this can cause overcrowding along the dental arches. Because wisdom teeth cause such an impact on the jaw and the general bone structure surrounding the mouth, the resulting tension can begin to cause headaches. When the situation reaches this point, it is advisable to reach out to a dentist and have them assess your case with proper x-rays and consultation.

  • Infection

Erupting wisdom teeth, especially when they are partially grown in, can sometimes create a place for bacteria to fester. Partially erupted wisdom teeth can cause food to become easily trapped and it can be troublesome to dislodge the food that is caught in the opening. This causes pericoronitis, an infection in the gum tissue and surrounding areas, and this is one of the symptoms that may make it necessary to perform an extraction. On the other hand, some dentists may opt to do an operculectomy, in which some of the gum covering the erupting tooth is taken off, allowing the tooth to erupt unimpeded. 

Each of these symptoms can range from mild to deeply concerning, and it is always highly recommended to consult with a trusted dentist once patients begin experiencing them.

How does it feel when your wisdom teeth start coming in?

Apart from the general symptoms, there are also sensations in the mouth to watch out for when the process of wisdom teeth eruption begins. When wisdom teeth start to come in, patients may start to experience some pressure in the affected area as the tooth begins to push against the gum tissue. This pressure can eventually build to discomfort and even pain, although some patients may feel no pain at all. When patients begin to experience new sensations such as this pressure or a hard surface where gums used to be behind the molar, it is most probably a sign that wisdom teeth are ready to erupt.

dental xray of the first signs of wisdom teeth coming in

What should you do if your wisdom teeth start coming in?

With the swelling and sensitivity that growing wisdom teeth can bring, it is important to treat the affected area with care before the tooth is extracted or fully grown in. Growing wisdom teeth can bring a series of complications to the rest of the mouth if they are not able to erupt properly.  Because wisdom teeth come in later in life than most of the other permanent teeth, the risks are higher that their growth can cause overcrowding, negatively affecting the alignment of teeth all along the dental arches. Wisdom teeth can also grow in unnatural angles and therefore push against teeth that have already grown in even before the wisdom tooth reaches the gum line. In some cases, these impacted wisdom teeth can lead to tumors or cysts that can subsequently lead to potentially more severe complications. 

Because the period between the initial symptoms and the complete eruption of wisdom teeth is so crucial, the best course of action would be to consult with a dentist and have an x-ray performed. This helps you determine from the onset whether or not the wisdom tooth needs to be removed or allowed to grow in properly, minimizing any further pain and complications. To approach well-trained and highly qualified dental professionals that can guide you from wisdom teeth eruptions to perfectly aligned teeth, book a consult with us today.  

How long does it take for wisdom teeth to come in?

Wisdom teeth generally develop well after adolescence, with many patients expecting to have them come in after they turn 18. When they develop properly, wisdom teeth can be a valuable addition to the dental arch, making chewing easier or even potentially replacing missing molars. However, for some patients, wisdom teeth can take up to years before fully erupting through the gums. In some cases, the wisdom teeth never make it past the gum line at all. While wisdom teeth cases vary from patient to patient, professional assistance is the ideal scenario to minimize any complications. 

How ALINA can help when wisdom teeth start to come in

With ALINA, patients can get expert dental advice from dentists and orthodontic professionals to guide them through the process of wisdom teeth eruption or extraction.

  • Better materials – Every tray of ALINA aligners is crafted from space-age materials approved by the FDA, so they’re crystal clear and safe to use.
  • Better technology – ALINA uses proprietary AlinaSmile technology to bring out your ideal smile in the most efficient, painless way. 
  • Better results – With over a million satisfied patients across the US, UK, and Canada, we know how important it is for you to feel confident with your smile—and we promise we’ll do everything in our power to help you get there!

While invisible braces prices vary across providers, ALINA makes sure that your treatment is a worthy investment with dentists and technicians that treat your case as unique and cater to your needs. Get closer to your dream smile and choose ALINA today. 

The ALINA Promise

We guarantee the quality work and support in your journey to your perfect smile. If at any time during your treatment that you’ll need adjustments, we’ll be there to help you get back on track.




Dr. Kristine Mae Bonaobra

Dr. Kristine Mae Bonaobra

graduated from the University of the Philippines College of Dentistry in 2016. She has practiced at several different clinics throughout the metro, including DentPro Dental Services and BrightSmile Avenue Dental Clinic. She completed her Orthodontic Preceptorship Course for General Dentists from DACI Inc. in 2018, and completed the Postgraduate Program in Esthetic Dentistry from the Philippine Academy of Esthetic Dentistry (PAED), graduating in 2021 with an Award of Merit. Dr. Bonaobra is an Associate Member of both the International Association for Orthodontics and PAED.

The ALINA Promise

ALINA guarantees a smile unique to you—so you can finally uncover your smile.