If you have children or had younger siblings, you may remember the harrowing experience of watching their teeth come through. When children lose their baby teeth and their adult teeth come through, this uncomfortable experience is somewhat repeated to a lesser extent. However, between the ages of 11 and 19, the majority of people will experience a kind of third teething experience with the eruption of wisdom teeth.

And wisdom teeth can be exceedingly problematic! They are the 5th molars on both the upper and lower jaws, and because they erupt later, they often create a lot of issues with the surrounding teeth. So for many patients, the only viable option is to have them removed.

At Smile 4 U, our dentist Herne Hill has helped many patients who experienced uncomfortable wisdom teeth or secondary complications due to abrupt eruptions or poor positioning. We will always aim to keep all of your teeth in your mouth, but when it comes to wisdom teeth, for most patients, the best option is to have them removed.

So what are some of the signs that you can spot at home that your wisdom teeth are going to cause a bit of a problem? Here, our dentist Herne Hill highlights 5 key symptoms to keep an eye out for.

Discomfort when opening your mouth

Wisdom teeth are located at the back of the mouth, so they are close to the jaw joint. If there is an issue with your wisdom teeth, our dentist Herne Hill predicts that you will have problems opening your mouth, such as when you yawn or eat a large sandwich. This can feel like a pain in the jaw joint or may simply be a restriction on how wide your mouth will open.

Tender gums

One of the main reasons why teeth erupting is so uncomfortable is because the gums become inflamed, making eating food very uncomfortable. So when your wisdom teeth erupt, you can expect there to be some discomfort with your gums. But persistently tender gums, even after the wisdom teeth have erupted, can point to an infection or persistent inflammation. The only way to resolve this in the long term is to have the tooth or teeth extracted so that you can eat without discomfort.

Earaches and headaches

There are nerves at the back of your jaw that link to your ears and head. So if, after your wisdom teeth have erupted, you suffer from more persistent earaches and headaches, this can be a sign that your wisdom teeth are causing trouble and need to be removed! You can attempt to mitigate this with over-the-counter pain relievers, but in the majority of cases, this is a short-term solution and the only viable long-term option is extraction.


Swelling in the jaw or facial area can be a sign that your wisdom teeth are impacted, infected or pressing against a neighbouring tooth as they erupt. This is a more urgent situation that will often require a same-day appointment to resolve and diagnose.

Sinus issues

This only occurs with wisdom teeth on the upper jaw. If the roots of your wisdom teeth are pressing against your sinuses, this can create persistent sinus infections. The only long-term way to resolve this is to have the teeth removed.


All treatment carries risks. Individual consultation is required with one of our practitioners to ensure that the treatment is right for you.