Do I Need to Have My Wisdom Teeth Removed?
Just because you don’t feel any problems, such as pain, with your wisdom teeth doesn’t mean there’s nothing wrong. It also doesn’t mean there’s not going to be a problem down the line.
If the wisdom tooth is not able to emerge, also called impacted wisdom tooth, it damage the root of a nearby tooth.
If your mouth is too small and doesn’t have enough room for a third molar, or wisdom tooth, it could grow at an angle toward the neighboring tooth and push up against it. This can cause damage to the other tooth.
Moreover, aging causes the bones in your mouth to get harder. This will make it harder to remove teeth. This means that if you wait, you could have problems after surgery, such as bleeding, fractured teeth, severe numbness, and even minor loss of movement in your jaw. Unfortunately, these side effects could last from only a few days to a lifetime.
So When Is Removal Needed?
Wisdom teeth need to be extracted when they are causing problems, or when x-rays show they might cause problems in the future.
The problems could include any one of the following:
1) Misalignment – When wisdom teeth are impacted or emerges at an angle, it can cause crowding of other teeth. This will make teeth-straightening treatment necessary to align the affected teeth again.
2) Cavities – Swollen gums create pockets between teeth that is conducive to bacteria growth and cause cavities to form.
3) Gum inflammation – Pain in the inflamed gums will make it hard to clean around the swollen area.
4) Sinus problems – Problems with wisdom teeth can lead to sinus problems such as pain, pressure, and congestion.
5) Jaw damage – Cysts can form. If this is left untreated, they can damage nerves and create a hole in your jaw.
6) Damage to other teeth – When the wisdom teeth emerge, they can cause problems with your bite and cause mouth pain. They can also push other teeth around. Crowding can also make teeth harder to clean and lead to cavities.
How does wisdom teeth removal work?
These days, oral surgery for wisdom teeth removal is a standard practice.
Your dentist will examine the shape of your mouth and the position of your teeth before making a decision. Your age and health history will also play a role. Taking a picture of your teeth through imaging such as x-rays will help the dentist see if there will be problems down the line.
If you still feel you are not ready, and you are not feeling any pain, you might be able to wait a few months to see if things change before making a decision. But if you’re feeling some pain or notice some swelling and inflammation, it might be time to consider removal of your wisdom teeth.
About Dr. Steven Paul, MD, DDS
Dr. Steven Paul’s office aims to keep you comfortable and safe.
We will talk to you extensively about your scheduled wisdom teeth removal procedure and address any concerns you may have. We will answer all of your questions.
Dr. Paul is a member of the American Association of Oral & Maxillofacial Surgeons.
He has devoted his profession to all aspects of Oral Surgery with special interests in the treatment and restoration of missing teeth through dental implant procedures including advanced techniques in full mouth rehabilitation (All on 4), bone and soft tissue grafting, restoring both function and aesthetics, as well as extraction of wisdom teeth and associated cysts and tumors of the oral cavity. All this done through anesthetic techniques specific for each individual patient.
NOTE: This article is intended to promote understanding of, and general knowledge about wisdom teeth removal. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your dental care specialist or other qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or treatment.