Do I Need to Have My Wisdom Teeth Removed?

dentist xray maybeWhen your dentist or oral surgeon recommends that you have your wisdom teeth removed, you may have many questions. Why is it necessary to have your wisdom teeth removed if they don’t seem to be causing any problems?  Since they aren’t hurting anything, do you really need to have them taken out?  Your dentist or oral surgeon may be recommending wisdom-teeth removal for a variety of reasons. Here are some of the more common reasons for having wisdom teeth removed.

Impacted Wisdom Teeth

Wisdom teeth are considered to be impacted when there just isn't enough room for them to emerge through the gum.  If you have impacted wisdom teeth, you can't see them because they haven’t even broken the surface of the gums. Problems associated with impacted wisdom teeth include swollen and bleeding gums, pain and swelling the the jaw, infection and damage to neighboring teeth.  To avoid more serious complications, your dentist will refer you to a board-certified oral surgeon and oral surgery will be necessary to remove wisdom teeth that haven’t grown in yet.

You’re Getting Braces Taken Off

Once your orthodontic treatment is complete and your braces are removed, you will want to preserve your beautiful new smile.  Without ample room to emerge, wisdom teeth can wreak havoc on your straight teeth.  Before that happens, ask your orthodontist for an evaluation of your wisdom teeth and a referral to a board-certified oral surgeon.  If your wisdom teeth are not causing any immediate concern following the removal of your braces, just be sure to schedule an annual dental check-up and x-ray to monitor the health of your wisdom teeth and the surrounding gum tissue.

You Have Pain 

Wisdom teeth can cause pain in the jaw, neck, sinuses and head.  Because the third molars are set so far back in the mouth, they are prone to infection and this will definitely cause pain.  Or, your pain may be due to the wisdom teeth being impacted.  Either way, if you have pain in and around your jaw, schedule an appointment with your dentist or oral surgeon.  He or she will take an x-ray and likely recommend that you have your wisdom teeth removed.  The only way to get rid of the pain from wisdom teeth for good is to have them removed.  By removing the wisdom teeth, your oral surgeon should be able to resolve your jaw pain.

What Complications Can Arise From Not Having Wisdom Teeth Removed? 

Some wisdom teeth do not cause problems.  However, because it is likely that they will ultimately cause issues, it is recommended that the third molars be extracted when a patient is younger and the teeth have not developed complete root systems.  But, if you elect not to have your wisdom teeth removed, please be aware of the complications that may arise:

Damage to Neighboring Teeth

As your wisdom teeth grow, they may do so at an angle which will damage neighboring teeth and cause infection.

Sinus Trouble

Due to the physiology of your wisdom teeth and surrounding areas, you may experience sinus troubles that include pressure, pain or chronic congestion and stuffiness.

Gum Inflammation

Gum tissue around the wisdom teeth may become irritated or inflamed which can lead to infection and periodontal disease.

Ultimately, it’s in your best interest to follow the recommendation of your dentist or oral surgeon regarding having your wisdom teeth removed.  In the meantime, continue to see your general dentist for an annual check-up, cleaning and x-ray.  Pay close attention to the area by brushing and flossing regularly to ensure you have the best oral health outcome now and in the future. For more information about wisdom-teeth removal, please contact us today.