My patients often ask if they should take out their wisdom teeth. Sometimes, they say it hurts, and other times, they say it doesn’t, but they still want my opinion on keeping or taking it out.
In this edition, I will be discussing about the wisdom teeth, and giving insights about why you should keep or take out your wisdom teeth.
Your wisdom teeth are the last of the bunch to erupt, usually around 17-21 years; past the teen years, little wonder they are called “wisdom” 🙂 Sometimes, erupting wisdom teeth can be uncomfortable (think of teething toddlers) but slight discomfort with eruption is normal.
A major concern with wisdom teeth is the need for room to accommodate them. If you have enough room in your jaw, your wisdom teeth will serve as extra surfaces to help with food chewing. You only have to make sure you are brushing and flossing adequately, and you may keep your healthy wisdom teeth for a life time (with regular evaluation from your dentist of course). However, when there is no room to erupt, due to a small jaw, they sometimes get fully or partially stuck (impacted) in the bone, or come out poorly angled. This may give rise to a variety of problems, including:
Pain: Your gums might appear swollen and painfully when food and bacteria get caught underneath/around the partially stuck tooth.
Cavities: Due to difficulty in brushing and flossing adequately,cavities might form on the wisdom teeth, and the back of the molar next to it, making two cavities- one on the wisdom and the other, the tooth next to it. If this continues unnoticed, you might be having infection on both your wisdom tooth, and the molar next to it.. I see this pretty commonly with lower impacted wisdom teeth, and patients then have to first extract their wisdom tooth, and decide on a root canal procedure or another extraction of the next molar.
Gum disease: Also, due to inability to brush and floss adequately, the gums around the wisdom teeth might be harboring lots of bacteria, compromising periodontal health.
Cysts/tumors: Impacted teeth can form cysts or tumors
If your wisdom teeth are stuck or poorly angled, you might want to consult with your dentist and follow a treatment plan for possible removal/extractions. Otherwise, if your wisdom teeth are fully erupted, do follow up with your dentist for continuous evaluation. It is important that you brush and floss them adequately, if you want to continue keeping them for a lifetime!
Call us on 815-782-6243 for free Consultation and x-rays to fully diagnose your wisdom teeth.Ask about our discounts for March special. Visit us at smileleaguedental.com for more information