Wisdom Teeth: Symptoms & Signs

Medically Reviewed on 1/29/2021

Wisdom tooth is another name for any one of four third molars found in the permanent (adult) teeth. They are the most posterior, or last teeth, in the mouth. Some people never develop wisdom teeth while in others, the teeth never erupt from the gum line.

Wisdom teeth erupting can produce symptoms and signs such as

  • jaw pain, pressure, and tenderness, or
  • swollen gums in the back of the mouth.

If there is not enough room in the mouth for the wisdom teeth and they are trying to erupt, they may cause significant pressure on the surrounding teeth and tissues, leading to symptoms such as

Partial eruption of a wisdom tooth can cause inflammation and irritation at the site.

Cause of wisdom tooth pain

Partial eruption and impaction of wisdom teeth can cause pain.

Other wisdom teeth symptoms and signs

  • Difficulty Opening the Mouth
  • Headache
  • Jaw Pain, Pressure, and Tenderness
  • Jaw Stiffness
  • Swollen Gums in the Back of the Mouth


Mouth Problems: TMJ, Canker Sores, Painful Gums and More See Slideshow

Subscribe to MedicineNet's General Health Newsletter

By clicking Submit, I agree to the MedicineNet's Terms & Conditions & Privacy Policy and understand that I may opt out of MedicineNet's subscriptions at any time.

Jameson, J. Larry, et al. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, 20th Ed. New York: McGraw-Hill Education, 2018.