Wisdom teeth are the molars lying at the back of your mouth. These teeth erupt around 17 to 25 years old. They are an evolutionary body part that our jaws have now outgrown. Because there’s typically no space for wisdom teeth in our modern-day jaw, they can cause several oral complications. If you’re lucky, they could erupt properly. Depending on whether they grow as healthy teeth or not, you may need to remove your wisdom teeth. When you book a consultation with us, one of our expert dentists will be able to answer this question for you as well as many more dental queries you may have. We may recommend removing wisdom teeth as a precautionary measure for your improved oral health.
Why are wisdom teeth removed?
Aside from the fact that you don’t need your wisdom teeth, your mouth may not have enough space to accommodate them. Wisdom teeth may end up impacting other teeth or erupting halfway and enabling bacteria to thrive in your mouth. When our dentist evaluates your wisdom teeth, they can determine whether the teeth could cause dental problems and then recommend a removal.
When should wisdom teeth be removed?
You can have your wisdom teeth removed at any time, although the preferred age to remove them is between 18 and 24 when the roots have not fully developed. Also, the dentist will be able to tell how wisdom teeth will develop when about two-thirds of the root’s size has developed. This happens between ages 18 and 24 and depends on the individual.
Signs wisdom teeth need to be removed
Wisdom teeth are usually removed to avoid oral health problems such as gum cysts, bacteria, impaction of nearby teeth, and so on. In some cases, your dentist will remove wisdom teeth to prevent these problems. Once they examine how the roots of your wisdom teeth are growing, they would be able to tell if the teeth would create any oral health issues.
Here are some obvious signs that your wisdom teeth need to be removed:
Wisdom teeth impaction occurs when these teeth do not erupt through your gums completely. They may grow at an odd angle or may be crooked. When impaction occurs, wisdom teeth can cause damage to your neighboring healthy teeth. Impacted wisdom teeth may grow in the wrong direction into the jaw leading to jawbone cysts, infections, and gum disease. Impacted wisdom teeth may cause you some discomfort or you may be completely unaware of the crooked growth.
- Oral cysts
If you notice cysts in your gums or jaws, you need to have your wisdom teeth removed immediately. These cysts are sacs of fluid that develop in your oral tissue but also in your gums and jaw. They can cause damage to your jawbone and even cause the roots of your neighboring healthy teeth to begin to rot. In severe cases, oral cysts can become tumors that require jaw surgery and other invasive treatments.
- Gum inflammation
If your gum is swollen or inflamed, you certainly need wisdom teeth removal. The third molars when partially erupted or impacted can cause food and bacteria to get underneath your gum tissue leading to gum inflammation. Inflamed gums can be sensitive to the touch and even painful. They point to the need for immediate wisdom teeth removal.
- Stiff jaw
If you feel some stiffness in your jaw, your wisdom teeth may be crowding your healthy teeth. As your wisdom teeth press against your other teeth, it becomes difficult to move your jaw. If left unattended, this could lead to jaw pain. You should contact your dentist immediately if you experience stiffness or discomfort in your jaw.
- Jaw pain
If you feel pain in the back of your jaw or are unable to open your mouth without some difficulty, your wisdom teeth may be impacted and it will be time to remove them. The jaw can only carry 28 teeth causing wisdom teeth to erupt at extreme angles of your mouth in ways that can affect your healthy teeth. In some cases, the top and bottom wisdom teeth may be unable to meet properly. These situations can result in jaw pain and is an indicator that you need to remove your wisdom teeth.
- Persistent bad breath
Wisdom teeth can impact adjacent teeth and lead to decay. When this happens, bacteria can feast on your rotting teeth and cause bad breath or a bad taste in your mouth. If your bad breath is persistent, you may need to remove your wisdom teeth. Check with the dentist immediately.
Benefits of having your wisdom teeth removed
- Removing wisdom teeth can improve your overall oral health.
- It can prevent infection and decay by eliminating places within your mouth where bacteria can grow.
- Wisdom teeth can also damage your other teeth and cause pain, bad breath, and other complications. The possibilities for any of these to happen cease when your wisdom teeth are removed.
- Removing your wisdom teeth early can prevent certain dental work and invasive treatments in the future.
Wisdom teeth removal: aftercare tips
Your dentist will provide you with a few tips for quick recovery after you’ve had your wisdom teeth removed. These include using ice packs on your face, exercising your jaw by gently opening and closing it, drinking plenty of fluids, and eating soft foods like pasta, rice, or soup. You may also need to use moist heat to tend to a sore jaw. Your dentist will let you know how to brush during recovery and may prescribe some medication to help ease swelling or pain.
Wisdom teeth removal is a delicate oral surgery that requires experienced dental professionals. You can come by our office for a full oral check-up in which we can determine this and many other dental conditions you might be facing. We can answer your questions and help you make the best decision to maintain your oral health. Book a consultation with us today or visit our office to discuss how we can be of help.