Ask a Dentist

Wisdom Teeth and Chewing

Q: I think my wisdom teeth are coming in and I constantly want to chew things with them. Is this normal?

A: Wisdom teeth (third molars) usually come in between the ages of 17 and 25, and your dentist will see them on your X-ray if you are getting regular check-ups, or you’ll start to feel them. Just like when you were a baby, the growth of your wisdom teeth can make you want to put pressure on the gums to help the tooth push through. People often chew gum or soft candies, but there are better ways to manage the discomfort.Numbing gels are another way to ease the discomfort. Growing wisdom teeth can cause swelling in the gums, which can be quite uncomfortable for a lot of people. Using a numbing gel, such as Orajel, will numb the area until the gums are no longer inflamed.Swollen and sore gums are not the only physical discomfort in wisdom tooth growth. Swelling in the jaw, neck and shoulders is also common, as are headaches. Taking Ibuprofen and using an ice pack can help relieve some of these symptoms while they occur. Wisdom teeth can take a long time to erupt and are usually not painful the entire time. If you think your wisdom teeth are coming in, visit your dentist immediately to ensure they are not causing damage to any of your other teeth. We also want to monitor them to ensure they are not developing an infection. If the wisdom teeth are causing issues they may have to be removed. Call us or schedule an appointment online to see one of our Winnipeg dentists so they can assess your wisdom teeth.