How Do I Know If I Need My Wisdom Teeth Removed?
The experience of wisdom teeth can differ greatly from person to person. While most people have four wisdom teeth, some have two or three, some only have one, and some have none at all.
And the differences don’t end there. Did you know that not everyone with wisdom teeth will need to have them removed? Wisdom teeth removal will depend on the way your wisdom teeth push through (erupt) in your mouth and whether there’s enough room for them to grow.
If you’re wondering about wisdom teeth removal, read on to discover the signs that it’s time to get your wisdom teeth checked out by your dentist.
Getting wise on wisdom teeth
Wisdom teeth are located at the very back of the mouth - in most cases, two on the top and two on the bottom. The last of the adult teeth to come through, wisdom teeth usually erupt at some point in your late teens or early twenties.
While some people will have no issues with their wisdom teeth coming through, others will experience pain, discomfort and possibly infection. In these cases, your dentist will advise on whether you need to have your wisdom teeth removed.
Why might you need to have your wisdom teeth removed?
As your wisdom teeth begin to push through, problems can arise if there isn’t enough room in your mouth for the teeth to grow. As a result, wisdom teeth may grow at an angle and become impacted.
Here are some of the issues that can be caused by impacted wisdom teeth, which may result in the need for removal (called wisdom teeth extraction):
● Damage to surrounding teeth
An impacted wisdom tooth can push against adjacent teeth. This pressure can cause damage to the teeth and soft tissue, leading to erosion.
This occurs when a wisdom tooth only partially erupts, which can lead to the development of a flap of gum tissue covering part of the tooth. Bits of food and debris can become trapped under the flap, causing swelling and infection of the gum.
Cysts are pockets of fluid that can form around impacted wisdom teeth. As cysts can cause damage to bone, surrounding teeth and gums, it’s often best to remove the wisdom teeth.
● Dental caries
Also known as tooth decay, caries can often develop on wisdom teeth due to them being hard to reach with a toothbrush and keep clean. If a wisdom tooth has extensive caries, you may need to have it removed.
Pericoronitis or caries that have caused the tooth’s inner pulp to die can result in more serious infection which can spread to other parts of the face. As these infections can cause significant damage, it’s important to have your wisdom teeth removed.
What are the signs you may need your wisdom teeth removed?
While some people will experience pain and discomfort when their wisdom teeth begin to erupt, other people won’t experience any symptoms at all.
By keeping up to date with your six-monthly dental check-up and clean, your dentist can examine your mouth to see whether your wisdom teeth are coming through and if there are any issues with the way they’re erupting.
If your wisdom teeth are coming through, you may experience the following symptoms:
● Tenderness or pain in the back of your mouth
● Difficulty chewing and eating
● Red, swollen or uncomfortable gums
● Sore lymph nodes and/or a fever
● A persistent bad taste in your mouth
● Bad breath
● Difficulty opening your mouth
Be sure to book in with your dentist as soon as possible so they can assess your teeth and decide whether it’s best to have your wisdom teeth removed.
If you’re concerned about your wisdom teeth or need to come in for a check-up and clean, book an appointment
with your local National Dental Care or DB Dental practice today.