If you have been advised your wisdom teeth need to be removed, you might be hoping it isn’t really necessary. You might know people who have their wisdom teeth, and they are perfectly fine, or even someone who says their wisdom teeth didn’t grow in at all.
While both scenarios are possible if you are being advised wisdom tooth extraction is required, these scenarios, unfortunately, don’t apply to you. There are many reasons we recommend wisdom tooth removal, all of them based on specifics that can lead to issues for you down the road. Here we look at why wisdom tooth removal is necessary if your dentist has recommended it.
What are wisdom teeth?
Your wisdom teeth are the molars located at the very back of your gums. They are the last teeth to “erupt,” usually between the ages of 17 and 25. They are referred to as “third” molars since they are the last to appear. Although most people will have their teeth either fully erupt, or extracted by the age of 25, for some, their wisdom teeth can appear or cause trouble into their early 30s.
Don’t I need my wisdom teeth?
No. Your wisdom teeth don’t really serve any real purpose. The rest of your molars are more than capable of providing the chewing function needed to eat and help digest food.
Why doesn’t everyone need their wisdom teeth removed?
Good question. The truth is everyone’s teeth are different. This is even more noticeable when it comes to wisdom teeth. They tend to go rogue when it comes time to make their appearance which can lead to a whole list of woes. Plus, because they are the last to erupt you can run into space issues that mean your wisdom teeth can’t fit in your mouth.
These factors combined increases the risk for wisdom teeth to grow in the wrong direction. While most teeth easily grow upward or downward, wisdom teeth often grow sideways. This causes major issues from pain to interference with the alignment of your other teeth. So while one person might get lucky and experience zero issues with their wisdom teeth, others like yourself, face all kinds of troubles including pain, improper direction, and increased risk of infection.
My dentist says my wisdom teeth are impacted. What does that mean?
Another good question! When your dentist tells you your wisdom teeth have to come out because they are impacted, this means they don’t have enough room to develop normally. When your wisdom teeth don’t have enough space to erupt properly, they try to find a different route. They literally become “stuck” in your gums and can put pressure on your gums, your other teeth and even become infected.
In some cases, your teeth might be “partially” impacted meaning that part of the tooth has managed to erupt, and the rest is still below the gumline. All of these issues can be quite serious which is why extraction is required.
Why did my friend not need their wisdom teeth removed?
As mentioned, everyone has different dental situations. Chances are that either your friend had enough space for their wisdom teeth to fit, or they haven’t experienced any ill effects from impaction. In fact, some people don’t develop wisdom teeth at all. So for those who have their wisdom teeth erupt normally, straight, or not at all, they are perfectly fine to let nature take its course and potentially have a new set of molars.
What are the reasons to have wisdom teeth removed?
As discussed, wisdom teeth must be removed if they are either misaligned or impacted. If this is the case, you are most likely aware of the problem because wisdom teeth can lead to many very uncomfortable symptoms including:
- Jaw aches
- Trouble opening your mouth
- Neck pain
- Pain at the tooth site
- The tooth has partially erupted
- Cysts of the gum
- Swollen, red, tender, or bleeding gums
- Damage to other teeth
- Frequent bad breath
- An unpleasant taste in your mouth
- Food becoming trapped at the back of your mouth
- Pain when you open your mouth such as when you yawn or eat
- Swollen lymph nodes
If you experience any of these issues, speak to our team as soon as possible so we can rule out infection and assess the situation.
What happens if I choose not to remove my wisdom teeth?
In a nutshell, if you choose not to remove your wisdom teeth, they will become harder and harder to ignore. Unfortunately, the symptoms listed above will become more persistent, and eventually become more serious. However, there are other issues you might eventually face including:
- Crooked teeth
- Serious infection
- Increasing pain
While you might not see any of these issues arise, at least not right away, they are far too risky to choose to ignore the recommendation to have your wisdom teeth removed.
Why You Should Set Up Your Appointment As Soon As Possible
The longer you wait for wisdom teeth extraction in Mississauga, the more severe your symptoms will become. The fact that you don’t need your wisdom teeth, and they are causing you issues with the potential to get quite serious, it makes sense to have the extractions performed as a young adult. The entire process takes about 45 minutes and you are made as comfortable as possible during the extraction using freezing or general anesthetic.
Although you can expect discomfort following the procedure, you will feel better every day. It takes an average of a couple of days to recover completely, although in some cases it can take a week or longer. However, once the healing is complete you will enjoy improved oral health and see the negative effects of your impacted wisdom teeth disappear including pain, headaches and swelling.
To learn more about why wisdom tooth removal is necessary, call Bristol Dental at 905-712-3409 or contact us here.