Wisdom teeth removal has become a common practice for maintaining exceptional dental health. The wisdom teeth are the third and final molar set to erupt, usually occurring in individuals between the ages of 17 and 25. While it’s most common for humans to develop four, some people have eight or more. If the molars come in straight, are adequately healthy and you are able to clean each tooth without issue, they may not require removal. However, if any of the following signs appear, extraction is the best course of action to eliminate current problems and prevent future dental issues.
What is an Impacted Tooth?
When your mouth doesn’t have enough space for the third set of molars to emerge, they put pressure on the surrounding teeth and gums. This condition is called an impacted tooth, and it happens to 90 percent of the general population in at least one of their third molars, according to the American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons. The following symptoms can indicate the presence of impacted wisdom teeth, even if the tooth has not yet broken through the surface of the gums.
Headaches and Jaw Pain
Impacted third molars put enormous stress on the jawbone, radiating pain throughout the mouth and head. Frequent, persistent headaches are always a serious medical concern, and impacted molars may be the source of the pain, especially if other related symptoms are present.
Inflammation of the gums and surrounding tissues can signify the need for wisdom tooth removal. The swelling may also affect your cheeks, and you may develop sour breath. The gums may begin to turn redder than normal or bleed easily, and cysts or sores might appear. You may experience difficulty opening and closing your jaw and feel discomfort while chewing food.
When wisdom teeth only partially break through the gums, the area can be extremely difficult to keep clean. If the molar pushes through and lodges against the adjacent tooth at the wrong angle, you will find it nearly impossible to floss and prevent bacteria growth. Nearby molars and the wisdom teeth themselves may develop cavities and gum disease. Over time, this could lead to tooth decay. When a permanent molar suffers damage from incoming wisdom teeth, removal is the primary solution.
When Should Removal Take Place?
Many professionals recommend removal in the young adult years so that problematic molars have minimal effect on the individual’s long-term oral health. In addition, young adults have a faster healing process than older adults, expediting the surgical recovery process.
If you are uncomfortable due to any of the symptoms discussed here, contact Oak Hills Dentistry for a one-on-one consultation to obtain a professional opinion on the need for wisdom teeth removal.