Why Do Wisdom Teeth Need to Be Removed?

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Why Do Wisdom Teeth Need to Be Removed?

Wisdom tooth extractions are only necessary if they put your dental health at risk. However, it’s rare for them to erupt without any issues, so wisdom teeth removal is a very common procedure. Let’s take a look at why wisdom teeth need to be removed, and how to know when it’s time for an extraction. 

How Do You Know If Your Wisdom Teeth Need to Be Removed?

Unlike the rest of your teeth, your wisdom teeth don’t grow in until your late teens or early twenties. Some people never develop wisdom teeth at all, due to genetics. But in most cases, the mouth is too small to allow the wisdom teeth to fully erupt from the gums. As a result, they can become impacted, meaning they get stuck fully or partially under the gums.  

It’s necessary to remove impacted wisdom teeth, because they’re highly susceptible to tooth decay, as they are very difficult to clean. A decaying wisdom tooth can cause severe pain, and also increases your risk of gum disease and of developing cavities in your other teeth. Impacted wisdom teeth can also cause jaw pain, teeth shifting, and many other issues. 

If your wisdom teeth grow in straight and erupt fully, then you might not need to have them removed. However, only your dentist can determine whether or not the extraction procedure is necessary for your dental health. 

Five Signs It’s Time for Wisdom Teeth Removal

1: X-Rays Show Impacted Teeth

Your dentist can tell whether your wisdom teeth are impacted with the help of dental x-rays. This is one reason why regular dental checkups are so important, as they include annual x-rays. Detecting and removing an impacted tooth early will prevent pain and other complications.  

2: Newly Crooked Teeth

An impacted wisdom tooth will still try to erupt through the gums, even though it’s positioned incorrectly. This puts pressure on the rest of your teeth and can cause them to shift out of place and become crooked. Shifting not only affects your smile, it also increases the risk of cavities because crooked teeth make brushing and flossing difficult. 

3: Jaw Pain

If your teeth shift out of place, it can change the way you bite and may affect your jaw strength. Impacted wisdom teeth can also put stress on your jaw leading to jaw pain, jaw stiffness, and TMJ disorders

4: Pain in the Back of the Mouth

The pressure from impacted wisdom teeth can cause pain in your back teeth and in your gums. You may also experience pain in the back of your mouth if a wisdom tooth has a cavity. Wisdom tooth pain can even spread from the back of the mouth to other parts of the head, causing earaches and headaches. 

5: Sinus Problems

If you have unexplained, recurring sinus problems, impacted wisdom teeth could be the cause. Wisdom teeth developing in the upper jaw can irritate your sinus cavities, causing pain, pressure, congestion, or sinus headaches. 

Wisdom Teeth Removal in Prescott, Arizona

If you’re experiencing any of the symptoms above, or if you are due for dental x-rays, contact Prescott Dentistry. We’ll evaluate your oral health and let you know whether or not your wisdom teeth need to be removed. If an extraction is necessary, our skilled dentists can perform the surgery here in our office, rather than referring you to an unfamiliar doctor. Call us at 928-445-1660 today to schedule an appointment. 

Images used under creative commons license – commercial use (1/9/2023). Photo by Warren Wong on Unsplash