Throughout your life, you’ve probably heard someone, somewhere say, “My dentist said I need to have my wisdom teeth taken out.” Perhaps even your dentist has said this to you! Oral surgery to remove wisdom teeth is a standard practice, and hopefully it’ll be the last time you’ll ever need to have teeth removed! However, what if they aren’t causing problems? Why remove them?

No Pain Isn’t Always A “Healthy Sign”
Just because your wisdom teeth aren’t a source of pain doesn’t mean there’s nothing wrong. The teeth could be stuck, or impacted. That means they can’t break through your jaw and into your mouth. Maybe your mouth is too small to make room for them, or the teeth could be growing at an angle to other teeth.

Wisdom teeth can actually damage the tooth next door if they push up against it! This is why it’s especially important as a young adult to have regular appointments and routine check-ups with your dentist. There is no “defining-age” that wisdom teeth need to be taken out, so having their existence monitored by your dentist is the best way to ensure nothing harmful comes your way.

Additionally, if your wisdom teeth aren’t showing any signs of pain/need for immediate removal, your dentist may recommend having your molars removed to prevent problems later on. As you age, the bones in your mouth get harder. That makes your teeth tougher to remove.

If you wait, you could have problems after surgery that range from heavy bleeding and fractured teeth to severe numbness and minor loss of movement in your jaw. These troubles could last a few days or a lifetime!

When Is Removal Needed?
When wisdom teeth cause problems, or X-rays show they might down the line, they need to come out. Other good reasons to take them out include:

  • That extra set of molars can push your other teeth around, causing mouth pain, alignment issues, bite problems, and damage to other teeth.
  • Jaw damage.
  • Cysts can form around the new teeth, which can hollow out your jaw and cause nerve damage when left untreated.
  • Sinus pain, pressure, and congestion.
  • Inflamed gum tissue around the area can swell and may be hard to clean.
  • Cavities, because swollen gums can create pockets between teeth that help bacteria grow.

Your dentist will look at the shape of your mouth and the position of your teeth to make a determination. Your age plays a role, too. Still not ready to part with your wisdom teeth? Talk to your dentist to see what should be done with your teeth. In some cases, you can wait several months to see if things change before making your decision. However, if you have pain or notice swelling or a bad odor near your back teeth, it may be time for a second look!

Further questions about removing wisdom teeth? Call Westermeier Martin Dental Care to schedule an appointment with your dentist 716-508-4547.