Is it necessary to remove your wisdom teeth, and when is the best time to do so? Wisdom teeth are the third set of molars in your mouth, located at the very back. They normally appear after all of your other teeth have erupted and can be extremely troublesome.
When a patient is between the ages of 16 and 19, a dentist will check to see if wisdom teeth need to be removed. Your dentist can use X-rays to assess how your wisdom teeth are erupting and predict if they will need to be extracted. You may be able to maintain them in some situations if they are fully erupted from the gums, healthy, and positioned so that they do not cause damage to other teeth. Because of their location in your mouth, it can be tough to avoid cavities in these teeth, so you’ll want to think about special cleaning routines to keep them healthy.
Unfortunately, many wisdom teeth don’t have room to grow or erupt properly and can cause problems. Some common problems include:
Crowding: Wisdom teeth that emerge without adequate space to properly erupt can crowd or overlap your teeth, causing damage to neighboring teeth.
Poor Position: Wisdom teeth can erupt at unusual angles, even horizontally, causing harm to your other teeth and jaw.
Partial Eruption: Sometimes wisdom teeth may only protrude partially through the gums. This makes it difficult to clean the area and the tooth, resulting in a pocket or tunnel that can function as a magnet for bacteria, contributing to gum disease and oral infections.
Hidden Teeth: If your teeth are buried beneath your gums, they might become stuck or “impacted” in your jaw, resulting in infection or a cyst that can damage other tooth roots or jaw bone.
When patients are in their teens or early twenties, dentists frequently prescribe wisdom tooth extraction. The bones and teeth become harder as you get older, making it more difficult for people to recuperate from surgery. Wisdom teeth should be removed when the patient is still young, while the roots and bone associated with wisdom teeth are still maturing, to avoid complications from removal and issues from concealed teeth that may become impacted.
If you haven’t had your wisdom teeth removed, you should be aware of specific indicators to avoid significant dental issues.
• Pain in your jaw
• Damage or repositioning of nearby teeth
• Repetitive infection in the gums behind your lower last tooth
• Progressive gum disease
• Cysts or tumors
• Excessive tooth decay
While removing wisdom teeth in young people is generally safe and simple, the decision to do so is always personal and individual. To make the best decision for you, you should discuss the position and health of your wisdom teeth with your dentist or oral surgeon.
If you have questions or are experiencing any pain associated with your wisdom teeth, give us a call and we’ll help you understand your options and make the decision that is best for you. We’re excited to help you get “wise” about your wisdom teeth!