Do I Really Need My Wisdom Teeth Out?

Wisdom teeth are the last set of people get. These third set of molars typically emerge between the late teens and early twenties. For some, wisdom teeth do carry the ability to come in nice and straight and never cause any problems. However, for the large majority of people, wisdom teeth tend to come in misaligned. Misaligned wisdom teeth can position themselves horizontally, be angled toward or away from the second molars, or be angled inward or outward. It might not cause you any discomfort and you may think you are functioning just fine with the way things are inside your mouth. But leaving misaligned or partially erupted wisdom teeth alone for too long could mean other oral health problems waiting to set in. A tooth extraction procedure is a small price to pay for the prevention of painful tooth and gum issues down the road.

What exactly could happen if you ignore your doctor’s orders to get your wisdom teeth out? Poor alignment of wisdom teeth can crowd or damage your adjacent teeth, jawbone, and even your tooth nerves. Furthermore, crowded teeth in the far back of your mouth makes it extremely difficult to clean well. Many patients resolve to get their wisdom teeth out simply due to the fact that brushing and flossing efforts are consistently failing to prevent cavities and gum disease in the back of your mouth. If you decide to keep your wisdom teeth, make sure you are being diligent in your oral hygiene as well as getting more frequent x-rays.

Wisdom teeth can also become impacted. This happens when they get enclosed the soft tissues or jawbone. Your wisdom teeth can then only partially erupt through the gum line, which easily allows bacteria to enter around the tooth that causes tooth decay and infection. Wisdom teeth that are impacted and infected will result in severe pain, swelling and jaw stiffness. At this point, it probably will not take much to talk you into wisdom teeth extraction.

Oral surgeons have long argued that if you decide to forgo wisdom teeth removal at a young age, you are simply postponing the inevitable. According a professor at UNC School of Dentistry, Dr. Raymond P. White, “roughly 60 to 70 percent of patients with wisdom teeth will eventually have trouble with them. Although the thought of oral surgery or wisdom teeth extraction is easy to postpone, it might very well save you a lot of future pain and expenses at your dentist’s office. Many dental insurance companies will actually cover wisdom teeth removal. Park South Dentistry is equipped with the necessary amenities as well as options in sedation dentistry to keep you comfortable during any tooth extraction procedure.

Posted on behalf of Dr. David Janash, Park South Dentistry

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