Are you noticing some sensitivity at the back of your mouth? Wisdom teeth are the last set of molars that grow in. However, they are no longer necessary for proper chewing and speech functions. Therefore, many people have them removed. Sometimes, when wisdom teeth start to erupt from the gums, they begin to shift and impact the alignment of your teeth and your jaw. This is why taking them out before this can happen is important.
Is it necessary to remove wisdom teeth?
In many cases, oral surgeons and dentists will recommend that you get your wisdom teeth removed if they predict that they will cause problems now or in the future. However, there are no benefits to pulling them out if they won’t be causing any problems.
Wisdom teeth don’t need to be removed if:
- They are in the right position and will not disrupt your bite
- They are healthy
- They are fully erupted (or completely grown in)
- They are able to be thoroughly cleaned during your daily oral hygiene routine
In most cases, wisdom teeth will grow in at different angles, or they do not have enough room to fully grow in. Your dentist may opt to get your wisdom teeth removed right away, if they:
- Only emerge partially. In these cases, the area would be difficult to see and properly clean. This attracts disease-causing bacteria that are likely to cause oral infections or gum disease.
- They remain completely hidden underneath the gums. If your wisdom teeth do not emerge normally, they will most likely become impacted with your jaw, which can lead to infection. It can also result in a cyst that could cause damage to other teeth or your jaw bone.
- They will crowd adjacent teeth. If your wisdom teeth won’t have enough room to develop properly, then they will crowd and potentially cause damage to neighbouring teeth.
Many dentists advocate removing wisdom teeth before they are fully emerged. Dentists recommend that individuals have their wisdom teeth removed
at a younger age, so that the recovery is quicker and easier before the tooth and bone are fully formed. This is why there are many young people who get their wisdom teeth removed before they begin to cause problems.
Signs You Need to Remove Your Wisdom Teeth
Many problems that arise with wisdom teeth occur when someone is between the ages of 15 to 25. Very few people who are older than 30 will experience issues with them; however, any person at any age could need a wisdom tooth extraction.
These are some common signs that you need to get your wisdom teeth removed:
1. Pain in the back of the mouth
Experiencing pain at the back of your mouth is one of the most common symptoms that lets you know that your wisdom teeth are coming in or are starting to cause problems. This pain can come and go sporadically, or it can be persistent.
2. Inflamed gums
When your wisdom teeth start to erupt from your gums, it can cause your gums to become swollen and tender. Your gums will start to appear reddish and slightly swollen in some areas, which could make it difficult to continue to clean properly while you brush your teeth
3. Bleeding gums
Along with inflammation, you might also notice that the back of your mouth starts bleeding when you brush your teeth. This can happen because of your wisdom teeth coming in.
If your wisdom teeth are ignored for a long period of time, cysts can begin to form in your mouth. Cysts are fluid-filled sacs that can end up impacting and damaging your mouth and jaw, and can be an indication that your wisdom teeth are coming in and need to be removed.
5. Earaches or headaches
Wisdom teeth do not only cause issues or pain in your mouth; they can actually start to cause pain and discomfort in other areas, which is another sign that they need to be removed. The pain you feel in your mouth or jaw can also radiate out towards your head, thus causing ear or headaches.
6. Pain or stiffness in the jaw
If your wisdom teeth emerge improperly, then they can change the way that your teeth bite down together. This can be quite painful and result in feelings of stiffness that can make it hard to open and close your mouth. It’s important to see your dentist immediately if you have these symptoms because having your jaws misaligned can cause other serious issues.
7. Sinus issues
When your wisdom teeth begin to sprout and grow roots into your upper jaw, you might begin to feel some pressure on your sinuses. This can be the source of sinus pain, headaches, uncomfortable pressure, and congestion.
8. Crooked or overcrowded teeth
Even if there is no room for them, wisdom teeth will continue to grow. Once the mouth becomes overcrowded, this can push your teeth together and cause them to become crooked. You cannot do anything to make all of them fit other than removing your wisdom teeth.
Before your wisdom teeth grow in fully, your dentist will typically take an x-ray to predict whether they will overcrowd your other teeth or not. This is one example of why it is important to get your wisdom teeth checked out as soon as they start to come in. If you let them grow and it gets to a point where your other teeth are becoming crooked, then you might need to invest in braces.
For more information about wisdom teeth removal, call Bloor West Smiles
at 647-371-1407 or contact us here
Updated for 2022