Wisdom tooth removal is a common procedure completed on young adults following the discovery of their fully developed wisdom teeth. Though the surgery, for the most part, is elective, many people may wonder if and when it is actually necessary.
What Are Wisdom Teeth?
Wisdom teeth are otherwise known as your third molars and tend to emerge around the ages of 17-25. Each person has a unique number of wisdom teeth ranging from 1-4. Though more uncommon, there are people who were born without any wisdom teeth as well. While they aren’t necessarily used now, they were incredibly helpful for previous generations of humans who used them to help consume rough meat and other hard substances before the use of fire and cooking. With our modern culinary changes, our need for wisdom teeth has plummeted throughout the centuries to the point where they are not utilized at all.
Though many people are able to live their entire lives without having to remove their wisdom teeth, dentists are more likely to recommend that patients get them removed to avoid the possibility of them becoming impacted. They become impacted when there is not enough space for them to come in comfortably. This process can be very painful and has been known to cause the following:
- Oral cysts- The emergence of wisdom teeth can sometimes cause cysts to form in the jawbone which can require a removal.
- Gum disease- An inflammatory gum condition can occur in some cases of wisdom teeth emergence.
- Tooth decay- Bacteria can become trapped between the emerging teeth and gums during a wisdom tooth eruption causing tooth decay in that area.
- Alignment issues- When impacted wisdom teeth come in they can oftentimes shift the rest of your teeth out of the way and cause other teeth to become misaligned.
In order to successfully avoid all of these issues, dentists will typically recommend that their patients have them removed as soon as possible.
When You Should Remove Your Wisdom Teeth
Dentists should begin tracking a patient’s wisdom teeth at some point in their young adulthood. Many dentists may make a recommendation for patients to get their wisdom teeth removed now to avoid the potential disaster of them coming in. While some people choose to remove their wisdom teeth on the opinion of their dental professional, some people make the choice to keep their wisdom teeth in the hopes that they will never emerge. If you have chosen to keep your wisdom teeth, there are a few signs and symptoms that you should be aware of that may alert you to there being an issue with them. Some of these symptoms include:
- Jaw pain and swelling
- Tender gums
- Bleeding coming from the gums
- Discolored and swollen gums
- Difficulty opening the mouth
If you have experienced any of the following, you should alert your dentist immediately and attempt to schedule an emergency appointment. From there, your dentist should let you know what to do and plan any next steps with you.
If you want to know the status of your wisdom teeth or would like to know more information about your options for wisdom teeth removal, contact the professionals at Gentle Touch Dentistry. We have years of experience helping patients like you with their dental health. You can call us at 571-536-7995 or request an appointment on our website here. We look forward to seeing how we can assist you.