7 signs your wisdom teeth needs to be removedLast updated : December 27, 2016
Posted by: Dental Associates Of Arlington
Pain is never something that should be ignored. If you are experiencing wisdom teeth pain talk to your dentist. And, even if you are not experiencing pain, talk to your dentist about monitoring the position of your wisdom teeth. Wisdom teeth removal is necessary for approximately 85% of adults—either because they have impacted wisdom teeth that are causing them problems or because the risk of complications is high. Many family dentistry experts recommend wisdom teeth removal as a preventive measure. Wisdom teeth can become impacted and lead to dangerous infections or emerge crooked, crowding the mouth, and leading to misalignment of surrounding teeth. That’s why it’s important not to ignore the state of your wisdom teeth.
Why Do Wisdom Teeth Need to Be Removed?
Wisdom teeth are actually the third molars and final set of molars you develop, and they are located in the very back of your mouth. In many cases, they don’t have enough room to grow properly and can affect the alignment of your teeth, attract bacteria and promote tooth decay, and cause persistent pain as they start to develop.
When Do Most People Get Their Wisdom Teeth Removed?
For most people, the wisdom teeth don’t even start to develop until the late teens or early twenties. Some people elect to have them removed as soon as they develop, and with no indication that they will become a problem, simply because they want to avoid any possible issues down the road.
Extraction becomes more difficult once the roots of the wisdom teeth take hold. Also, recovery times are faster in younger patients. The best policy is to consult with a family dentist or oral surgeon who can perform an X-ray and tell you when and if your wisdom teeth need to be removed.
What are the Signs the Wisdom Teeth Must Be Removed?
As we said earlier, many people get their wisdom teeth removed before they present any problems. But if they are left in and allowed to develop, these are the signs that they likely need to be extracted:
1) Pain in the jaw, not necessarily around the site of the wisdom teeth
2) Infection in the soft tissue around the wisdom teeth
3) Cysts that develop in the mouth
4) Tumors that develop in the mouth
5) Damage caused to nearby teeth
6) Persistent and severe gum disease
7) Extensive tooth decay
Signs That You Can Keep Your Wisdom Teeth
There are occasions where wisdom teeth don’t cause any problems at all. In those situations, you can consider keeping your wisdom teeth for the rest of your life. Here are some signs of unnecessary wisdom teeth removal:
1) Your teeth have grown in completely and line up well with other teeth
2) You have no issues biting or chewing with your wisdom teeth
3) You are able to thoroughly clean your wisdom teeth like you do your other teeth
4) Your wisdom teeth and the teeth around them are healthy
We still recommend wisdom teeth removal for most of our patients simply because of how common problems are with them. However, you can assess your personal situation and figure out what will be necessary for you.
What is the process for wisdom tooth extraction?
· X-rays and an exam to confirm the need for extraction and plan the procedure
· A consultation to discuss your options for anesthesia, sedation and to review the overall extraction process before the day of the procedure
· Administering anesthetic and possibly sedation on the day of the procedure in the comfort of the dental office
· Opening the gum tissue and removing the wisdom tooth or teeth
· Closing the gum tissue with sutures, which will be removed during a follow-up appointment (In some cases, the gum tissue is left open to heal)
· The procedure may take 1 hour or more. The doctor can give you an estimate of the time required during your consultation appointment
What happens after wisdom tooth removal?
· Post-operative instructions will be reviewed with you in the dental office
· Keep gauze pads in the area to help stop any bleeding
· Ice packs may be used on your cheek(s) to help avoid or reduce swelling
· Rest and refrain from any sports or strenuous activities for a few days
· Avoid smoking, carbonated beverages, drinking from straws, touching the extraction site, chips and nuts and eat soft foods for 2 to 3 days
· Take any medications prescribed as directed
Have you felt pain or discomfort in your jaw? Are you wondering if your wisdom teeth should be removed? Contact us for an appointment and get a professional opinion. We have answers and we can help. If you experience any of these symptoms, contact our dentist today for a consultation.