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Artisan Family Dentistry - Teeth Whitening

Do I need to have my wisdom teeth removed?

January 3, 2017 | Written by: admin | category: Preventive Dentistry

Have you been told that you should have your wisdom teeth removed? If yes, you may be wondering why, especially if they’re not causing any pain.

Wisdom teeth are largely removed for preventive reasons. They may not be painful currently, but that doesn’t mean a problem can’t be lurking. The teeth could be impacted, or stuck below the surface, unable to erupt properly into your mouth. There may not be enough room for them to erupt, or they may be sitting in the jaw at a funny angle….sideways or even backwards. They could be growing at an angle to where they are pushing against the neighboring teeth, causing damage to them. Removing wisdom teeth when you’re younger prevents problems from occurring at a later age, when surgical procedures are generally more taxing on the body. Your ability to heal is much better when you’re younger, and the density of the jaw bone itself is much lower, making the teeth easier to remove. Waiting to have them removed only increases the chances of complications such as heavier bleeding, fractured teeth, severe numbness, or problems moving your jaw.

When wisdom teeth become symptomatic, or x-rays show them to potentially cause problems down the road, we will usually recommend their removal.  Other problems caused by wisdom teeth can include:

  • Damage to other teeth: That extra set of molars can cause other teeth to erode or move around, disrupting your bite. This can cause sometimes-painful jaw joint problems.
  • Damage to the jaw: Cysts can form around impacted wisdom teeth, growing larger and hollowing out the jaw bone, sometimes weakening it to the point of fracture, or causing damage to nerves.
  • Sinus issues: Problems with wisdom teeth can lead to sinus pain, pressure, and an overall increase in sinus symptoms.
  • Hygiene issues: Wisdom teeth can be difficult to keep clean. This can lead to swelling and inflammation in the gums, painful sudden infections, chronic bad breath, and increased chance of gum disease.
  • Cavities: Gum tissue pockets frequently form around problematic wisdom teeth and trap food and bacteria, causing cavities.

Curious about where your wisdom teeth stand in all of this? Have us take a look. We will factor in your age, the shape of your mouth, and the position of your wisdom teeth, and let you know the appropriate course of action.