Having your wisdom teeth removed is almost as commonplace now as a routine dental checkup. For most people, having their wisdom teeth removed is an expected part of their teenage years, but how do you know when the right time is or if you even need to have your wisdom teeth removed? Wisdom teeth are ancillary teeth at the very back of your mouth. They are also known as third molars. They often come in during the teenage years and can cause problems with your other teeth and your bite. While once thought necessary during ancient times, now wisdom teeth often cause more problems and provide no added benefit. Here is some important information to help you decide whether you need your wisdom teeth removed:
- Often the most common reason to have your wisdom teeth removed is because of space within your mouth or jaw. Wisdom teeth come in at the very back of the jaw line where there is already very limited space. As they begin to emerge they can cause serious crowding and even push other teeth forward. This can cause pain, misalignment of the bite, and other concerns.
- While it is possible for wisdom teeth to come in without problem, very few do. Many wisdom teeth because of their location will come in at an angle or crooked. The angle they come in at can aggravate other dental conditions as well as mean that new tooth is coming in directly against another tooth. If left untreated crooked teeth can permanently damage other surrounding teeth and your bite.
- Teeth that don’t begin to emerge can become impacted. An impacted tooth is one that is trying to push through the gums but becomes stuck or impacted and cannot grow through. There are many reasons this can happen including the angle of the tooth and the available space in the jaw.
- Wisdom teeth coming through the gum will often cause pain and swollen gums. A cyst could also develop. These are other indicators for removal.
- Even if you wisdom teeth begin to emerge without problems, there can be reason for their removal later. One of the reasons is that the gum area around the tooth may be come inflamed or infected or the tooth itself could get a cavity. When infection or inflammation develops in the gum surrounding wisdom teeth they are often easier to remove than to cure.
With the many complications that can occur from emerging wisdom teeth, it has become commonplace to have them removed during early teenage years while the roots are still less developed and before problems during emersion can occur. When you make the decision to have your wisdom teeth removed you have two options, extraction or surgery. If the teeth are already through the gum line you can try for extraction. For teeth that have not emerged or that are in smaller spaces choosing a surgical extraction will provide the best results. Your dentist can best advise you when the best timing for your wisdom teeth removal will be.