Wisdom Teeth | Airport Road Dental Associates, PC

Wisdom teeth are often a sore subject with dental patients. These teeth can cause problems with tooth alignment and can easily decay. They can also erupt through the gums in a difficult manner that requires special surgical treatment. However, wisdom teeth are not always so problematic that they need to be removed.

If you are on the fence regarding having your wisdom teeth removed, the following information may be helpful.

Where Are Your Wisdom Teeth?

Wisdom teeth are molars located in the back of the mouth. You can find the teeth on both the upper and lower jaw. These teeth typically erupt in adolescence or in adulthood. You do not necessarily have to remove the wisdom teeth unless they are causing problems with your surrounding teeth or are painful.

Why Are Wisdom Teeth Often Problematic?

Some adults and adolescents do not have a mouth large enough to properly accommodate wisdom teeth. There is simply no room for the teeth to grow in. A smaller mouth can cause the teeth to move your other permanent teeth into incorrect positions.

Wisdom teeth can also erupt in different directions. For example, your x-ray may show that your wisdom teeth are angled toward the side of your gums rather than upward. This means the teeth must be surgically removed, as there is no way for the teeth to come through.

For some, the wisdom teeth never erupt through the gums. Instead, the wisdom teeth remain impacted. Impacted teeth can cause pain and even infection. When infected, an impacted wisdom tooth can form a cyst on the gumline. The cyst and infection can also cause damage to the jawbone and your gums.

In some cases, wisdom teeth only erupt partially. When this happens, you are not able to properly clean the wisdom teeth, which results in decay.

What Are the Risks of Wisdom Teeth Removal?

Wisdom teeth removal is beneficial, but not always necessary. There are some risks to consider before you go through with the procedure. You will have some swelling and possible pain after the procedure. There is also a risk of a dry socket where the tooth was. Gums can sometimes take extra time to heal, particularly if you have gum disease. You may also have some excessive bleeding.

When Is Wisdom Tooth Removal Necessary?

Wisdom teeth typically begin to erupt in the later teenage years. When you get older, the bones are not as strong. If you have complications with your wisdom teeth or if they interfere with the health of your other teeth, it is best to have them removed as a teenager or young adult if possible.

If you have your wisdom teeth and they begin to develop decay, you should have them removed. The decay will eventually cause a tooth to break and make future removal more difficult. The decay can also impact the nerves in the root of the tooth, which will cause pain.

When Can You Keep Your Wisdom Teeth?

If you are not looking forward to having your wisdom teeth removed, you may be able to keep them in some special circumstances. If the teeth have already erupted through the gum line, you may be able to maintain them with really good cleaning to keep decay away.

You also do not necessarily need to have wisdom teeth removed if they do not cause damage to other parts of your mouth or cause your other teeth to shift. As long as the wisdom teeth do not shift or change your bite, you may be able to keep them without any problems.

If you have any wisdom tooth questions, please contact us at Airport Road Dental Associates, PC.

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