Problems with a Wisdom tooth and when you need to remove them

Jun 02 2020

You’ve probably heard someone tell you about getting wisdom teeth removed irrespective of whether you are an adolescent, parent, or grown adult.

If your wisdom teeth haven’t been removed yet, you’re probably wondering the following:

Do I really need my wisdom tooth removed?

Not everyone needs to get their wisdom tooth extracted. There are specific reasons why a wisdom tooth needs to be removed and this article will explain them. 

What are wisdom teeth?

Wisdom teeth get their name because they usually come in when you are older and you can expect these teeth around the ages of 17 to 21.

These teeth are located in the very back of your mouth. You can expect two on the top and two on the bottom although, this isn’t the case for everyone.

Wisdom teeth are molars and complete your set of 32 adult teeth. These molars are the toughest of them all, used to grind food, which is why they are wide and also cause a lot of problems.

Why do I need my wisdom teeth removed?

Here are the four main reasons why your dentist may say you need your wisdom teeth removed:

  1. They are impacted: This means your wisdom teeth cannot come in properly and can cause a lot of pain. Most often they lie horizontally and remain below the gumline instead of being upright. 
  2. They come in at the wrong angle: Wisdom teeth can push against and damage your surrounding teeth if they don’t come in straight and upright. 
  3. Your mouth isn’t big enough: Some people have smaller jaws that do not have enough room for an extra set of molars. 
  4. You can’t maintain optimal oral health: You are going to be more susceptible to cavities and gum disease, If you can’t reach your wisdom teeth with your toothbrush and floss

Common wisdom teeth problems

Over 10 million wisdom teeth are removed in the United States every year.

Watch out for these common problems associated with a Wisdom tooth:

  • They can cause pain and bite problems: If your extra set of molars do not grow in properly, they can push your other teeth, causing mouth pain and bite problems. 
  • Jaw damage: Cysts can form around unsuitable wisdom teeth. If left untreated, they can destroy bones, roots, and nerves. If a cyst turns into a tumor, you may require surgery.
  • Sinus pain: Wisdom teeth in your upper jaw can push against your sinuses, leading to pain, pressure, headaches, and congestion.
  • Cavities and gum disease: Inflamed gums can be hard to clean. As pockets between the teeth and gums form, bacteria can grow, which can cause cavities and gum disease 

When should you get your wisdom teeth removed?

The earlier the better.

Your bones become harder as you become older which can make the removal and recovery process more difficult.

Your dentist will use x-rays to determine:

  • If you have wisdom teeth – you may not even know if they are hidden
  • If you need to have wisdom teeth removed
  • How many wisdom teeth need to be removed
  • When you should have your wisdom teeth removed

Do you need to get your wisdom teeth removed?
You don’t need to get your wisdom teeth removed just because you have them. Contact your dentist today to schedule an appointment or bring it up at your next six-month cleaning.

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