Twelve-year molars refer to the second molars located in the mouth, that are directly in front of the wisdom teeth once they develop. They are referred to as the “twelve-year molars” since they typically erupt around 12 years of age. Although, not all children gain their “twelve-year molars” right at the age of 12, some children may get them at an earlier or later age since tooth development is heavily dependent on genetics.

Swollen Gums

For children that are undergoing oral development, it can be uncomfortable. While these molars erupt, there may be mild pain associated with cutting teeth. Specifically, the problem teeth may be the molars that have not fully punctured through the gum, which may be half covered by gum tissue. It may even be possible that slight swelling or puffiness of the gum tissue may be noticeable. If you notice that your child seems to have swollen gums or puffiness, do not panic. It is more than likely that swelling is caused from teeth that are making their way through the gum tissue to fully reach the surface.


If you or your child does notice some swelling while cutting the 12-year old molars, do watch the gums with close attention. In the event that swelling is causing difficulty while eating, it is recommended that soft foods be given. A substantial smoothie can be great and will not contribute to the irritation of chewing. Perhaps, mashed potatoes or other mashed fruits can be a great alternative as well.

Swelling should subside once the molars fully surface through the gums, but in the event it does not, it would be best to consult with a pediatric dentist. The dentist will be able to provide a full report on the condition of the gums and teeth following an appropriate evaluation. It is best to not attempt to self diagnose. While there are some amazing resources on the Internet, it is strongly suggested that you visit a pediatric dentist instead of trying to “play dentist” after reading a few Internet articles or periodicals. While we appreciate your efforts to educate yourself, a medical professional can make a proper diagnosis. You will be more than happy to answer any questions you may have when you give us a call. While it is difficult to answer questions over the phone, we know it will calm some of your uneasiness.

Contact Us

If you have questions or concerns about your child’s 12-year molars causing gum swelling, please contact Little Smiles Pediatric Dentistry immediately for your first time or returning appointment. Our wonderful pediatric dentist, Dr. Konz will be glad to evaluate the situation, sit down with you and discuss proper treatment if appropriate. We want you to know that our staff is dedicated to working with children and at our office they are the top priority!