“Oh, you got your wisdom teeth removed? Must have been because you’ve got such a smart mouth”.
Despite being the butt of dentist-related dad jokes, wisdom teeth can be a very serious issue for a lot of people.
Do wisdom teeth always need to be removed?
No, not always! If your wisdom teeth are healthy and you’re biting correctly, and as long as you can clean them regularly, you may not need to get your wisdom teeth removed.
In most cases, wisdom teeth removal is necessary because there isn’t enough room in your mouth to allow them to grow properly, causing problems for your other teeth. When we take x-rays and scans of your mouth and jaw, we can predict any problems you may have with your wisdom teeth before they even start to happen.
When should I get my wisdom teeth removed?
Wisdom teeth can grow in at various angles, sometimes horizontally, and lead to a whole list of more serious problems. Some common problems you may encounter are:
- Your wisdom teeth are hiding inside the jaw and becoming impacted. Impacted wisdom teeth can sometimes cause pathologies such as tumors and cysts.
- When your wisdom tooth emerges only partly through the gums, it can create a passageway for bacteria. Because of their difficulty to keep clean, this bacteria grows and increases the chances of gum disease or infection.
- Your wisdom teeth can crowd your other teeth. If they don’t have enough space when they start to emerge, they may crowd and damage other teeth around them.
- Your wisdom teeth are hard to keep clean, and can cause cavities that cannot be restored.
Normally, we recommend to patients that they get their wisdom teeth removed in their late teens. Removing wisdom teeth at a younger age allows easier surgery and recovery, as the roots have yet to be fully formed. A lot of wisdom tooth extractions are preventative measures, occurring before patients are even experiencing the negative side effects of wisdom teeth.
If you haven’t had your wisdom teeth removed, you should contact us as soon as you begin experiencing changes in your teeth or any of the following symptoms:
- Repeated infection behind the lower last tooth
- Gum disease
- Extensive tooth decay