Why Should Wisdom Teeth be Removed?
Why should wisdom teeth be removed?
Wisdom teeth are the last teeth to erupt in the mouth furthest from the back and also your last set of adult teeth to come in. Most of the time there isn’t enough room for them to grow in all the way, causing the tooth to grow in abnormally or partially erupt, which can cause an infection if ignored.
Why do we even get wisdom teeth if we’re just going to take them out anyway? Early-on, men and women survived by chewing large amounts of raw foods, both plants and animal-based, so having that extra set of molars was really useful. Today, humans eat more cooked foods and have forks and knives to do all the cutting, so we have less need for our wisdom teeth.
What problems do wisdom teeth commonly cause?
How do you know the pain you are having is related to your wisdom teeth? If the discomfort is coming from the corner of your mouth there’s a good chance it’s your third molars. A panoramic film is used to determine if you have wisdom teeth and if they’re positioned correctly or if it’s time to get them removed. Over time, having your wisdom teeth can cause a variety of problems such as:
- swollen gums
- jaw pain
- shifting or overlapping of other teeth
- difficulty opening your mouth
- frequent cavities, as the teeth are tough to clean
These are all signs that you need to remove your wisdom teeth.
In some cases you may not have to get your wisdom teeth removed as long as they are healthy, grow in completely, bite properly with their opposing teeth, and are able to be cleaned as part of your normal daily hygiene.
When do dentists recommend wisdom tooth extraction?
Most dentists will recommend getting your wisdom teeth out as soon as you can. Generally, the younger a patient is, the smoother the process. Waiting for the teeth to erupt is often a gamble, as problems the wisdom teeth create often require additional dental care. Most of us just don’t have the jaw space to keep our wisdom teeth, resulting in crowding which may need to be corrected with braces.
How are wisdom teeth extracted?
The most common way to get your wisdom teeth removed is through the use of a general anesthetic. You’ll be asleep for the procedure and it’s nice to not have to experience the process and just wake up with them out. Afterwards, many patients have some pain/discomfort for 3-4 days. After that your mouth will start to feel normal again. Want to learn more about what to expect during the wisdom tooth extraction process? Read our page about tooth extraction here.
Have regular checkups to monitor wisdom tooth growth.
It’s important to go to regular dental checkups, as you’ll start noticing your wisdom teeth coming in around your teenage years. Regular checkups with your dentist will allow you to keep an eye on your wisdom teeth as well as help you decide on when you should get your wisdom teeth removed.
Do you need to schedule an appointment to have a dentist examine your wisdom teeth, or schedule a consultation for a wisdom tooth extraction? Book an appointment with one of our dentists today.