When Is Wisdom Tooth Removal Necessary?

Feb 07, 2024
When Is Wisdom Tooth Removal Necessary?
It’s good you don’t need your wisdom teeth because 9 out of 10 people need to have one or more removed. Whether you have painful wisdom tooth problems or you want to prevent them, the information here will help you know when to remove them.

Wisdom teeth often stay in the gums instead of growing in like your other teeth. Sometimes that’s not a problem. However, 9 out of 10 people need at least one impacted wisdom tooth removed.

Deciding when to have a wisdom tooth removed is easy when you have symptoms, but some people may need an extraction before symptoms appear to prevent future problems.

At Fremaux Dental Care, Britney Beard, DDS, monitors the growth and position of your wisdom teeth, allowing her to identify potential concerns and determine if your dental health might benefit from removing one or more wisdom teeth.

About wisdom teeth

Wisdom teeth (the third molars) vary from one person to the next. Not everyone has four wisdom teeth. You could have one or a few, or you might not develop any. You don’t need to worry if you’re short on wisdom teeth because you don’t need them to chew and talk.

If you have wisdom teeth, they may or may not grow in and erupt naturally, usually between the ages of 17 to 25. Wisdom teeth that don’t grow in may stay in the gums without negative consequences. But there’s a higher chance you’ll develop problems.

When wisdom teeth don’t erupt, they’re impacted because there isn’t enough room for them to grow. Impacted teeth may stay deep in the jaw or grow sideways through the gum, pushing into the adjacent teeth. 

You could also have a partially impacted wisdom tooth, which occurs when it begins to grow in but stays partly covered by your gums.

Reasons to have wisdom teeth removed

You may need to have your wisdom teeth removed whether or not they grow in.

Problems after wisdom teeth grow in

If there’s enough room in your jaw, your wisdom teeth may grow in, and then cause problems down the road because they’re squeezed in against your other molars. Overcrowding pushes your teeth out of alignment, leading to decay, gum infections, and cracked teeth.

You’ll also need to be extra diligent about brushing and flossing. Wisdom teeth are so far back in your mouth they’re hard to clean, leading to cavities and gum infections.

Problems caused by impacted wisdom teeth

Impacted wisdom teeth cause complications such as:

  • Damaging the adjacent teeth
  • Pushing other teeth out of alignment
  • Causing gum inflammation and infection (periodontal disease)
  • Triggering cysts and tumors

You’ll definitely need to have your wisdom teeth removed when these problems develop.

Preventive wisdom tooth removal

We monitor your wisdom teeth during your routine exams so we can anticipate potential dental disease. Even if you don’t have symptoms, it’s often best to extract the teeth before a severe problem begins.

In addition to preventing pain, discomfort, infections, cysts, and other concerns, removing your wisdom teeth early is easier and safer. As you get older, the roots lengthen and may affect the nerves in your jaw, making extraction surgery more difficult and increasing your risk for complications.

Signs you need a wisdom tooth extraction

Impacted wisdom teeth may cause one or more of the following symptoms:

  • Facial pain or swelling
  • Ongoing jaw pain
  • Red, swollen, bleeding gums
  • Recurrent headaches
  • Difficulty opening your mouth
  • Pain or discomfort when chewing or brushing
  • A bad taste in your mouth
  • Bad breath
  • Sinus pain

A thin wall separates the upper teeth roots from your sinuses. In some cases, the root may protrude into the sinus cavity. Impacted wisdom teeth in your upper jaw can lead to sinus infections.

Don’t wait to seek help if you have questions about your wisdom teeth or symptoms of a problem. Call Fremaux Dental Care right away or use online booking to request an appointment.