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Dentist working on a female patient at his practice

Frequently Asked Questions About Wisdom Teeth

Wisdom teeth are teeth that erupt in the very back of your mouth on both the top and the bottom. These teeth come in much later in life, which is often why they are called wisdom teeth, as you are wiser by the time they erupt. Many dentists recommend having your wisdom teeth removed, but not everyone gets theirs removed, nor does everyone need theirs removed. Here are three questions you may have about wisdom teeth, as well as the answers. 

Why Do Some People Need Wisdom Teeth Removed and Others Do Not? 

Often times, people do not have space for their wisdom teeth. The wisdom teeth can push on other teeth in the back, or they can cause crowding within the mouth. If there is not space in the mouth for your wisdom teeth to come in, or if it looks like your wisdom teeth are going to come in at an angle and damage your other teeth, it is best to remove them. Some people have larger mouths or more space in their mouth. These people may opt not to have their wisdom teeth removed. 

What Happens if You Don't Have Your Wisdom Teeth Removed? 

Many dental professionals recommend removing the wisdom teeth in your mid to late teens or early twenties. This is because a lot of issues can be caused if you do not have your wisdom teeth removed. In the best-case scenario, there is room in your mouth for these teeth to come in. However, you may uncomfortable as these teeth break through the gums. The worst-case scenario is that you have an impacted wisdom tooth; this occurs when the tooth is coming in at an angle and pressing on other teeth, or it is unable to break through the gums. Impacted wisdom teeth can be extremely painful and can lead to swelling in your mouth and in your jaw region. 

Why Do Most Dentists Recommend Having Your Wisdom Teeth Removed Even If They Are Not Bothering You? 

Most dentists recommend having your wisdom teeth removed for a few reasons. First, it is easier to remove them early on, in your teens to early twenties, than waiting until they are coming in or erupting. Second, it helps to prevent pain of the teeth coming in. Lastly, even if your wisdom teeth do come in properly, they are hard to care for. They are at the back of your mouth, where a toothbrush can be challenging to fit. These teeth are susceptible to cavities and decay, so removing them early on typically makes more sense for your overall dental health. 

If you are looking to learn more about your wisdom teeth, Northwest Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery can help you. We can determine the positioning of your wisdom teeth and how much space you have in your mouth, to determine if your wisdom teeth should be extracted and removed. We can also perform the oral surgery needed to remove these teeth before they cause any problems. Contact us today to schedule an appointment with one of our dental professionals. 

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