For many teens and young adults, having wisdom teeth removed is a rite of passage. For some, extracting wisdom teeth, or the third molars, may not be necessary if they are healthy, fully erupted, positioned correctly, pain-free, and easy to clean as part of daily oral hygiene.
Fortunately, with the help of your dentist, you can monitor the health of your wisdom teeth to determine if wisdom teeth removal is right for you. In the meantime, here are some helpful clues that indicate your wisdom teeth may need to be removed as well as common issues caused by the third molars.
Signs of Wisdom Teeth Issues
Every patient is unique, and symptoms vary from person to person. If your wisdom teeth are causing problems, you may have changes in the mouth such as:
- Pain or swelling near an impacted wisdom tooth
- Infection of gum tissue surrounding a partially erupted third molar
- Cysts or tumors
- Crowding or damage to neighboring teeth
- Gum disease
- Tooth decay
When is wisdom teeth removal necessary? Wisdom teeth are last to erupt in the mouth. As a result, there is often inadequate space in the jaw for the third molars to grow properly. As your wisdom teeth emerge through the gums, usually as a young adult, your dentist will monitor your mouth for the following signs:
- Impacted wisdom teeth: When third molars don’t have sufficient space to fully erupt, they can become stuck, or impacted, in the gums. This can lead to infections or cysts that destroy surrounding tooth roots and supporting bone.
- Tooth decay and infections: Impacted or partially erupted wisdom teeth make it difficult to clean food particles and bacteria from between teeth that cause decay. Partially erupted third molars also provide a breeding ground for bacteria to infect the gums, which may lead to pain, swelling, and stiffness in your jaw. For these reasons, third molars are at an increased risk for cavities and oral infections.
- Crowding and tooth damage: When third molars grow crooked, sideways, or misaligned, they can cause permanent damage to neighboring teeth and result in a misaligned bite.
Gentle Wisdom Teeth Removal at Sycamore Hills Dentistry
If you are unsure about the health of your wisdom teeth, schedule a visit with your dentist. Sycamore Hills Dentistry can examine the position of your third molars and determine whether extraction is necessary for you. Thanks to advances in dentistry, today’s wisdom tooth extraction is quick, easy, and more comfortable than ever.
To learn more about our wisdom teeth removal and orthodontic services, call our office today.