The wisdom teeth or third molars tend to push through the gums just as adolescence ends and the early years of adulthood begin. For most people, that’s between the ages of 17 and 25. They may slip in unnoticed, or they may come with a raging pain that sends you straight to Rosary Dental for a prompt exam and a discussion about wisdom teeth removal.
Here’s the truth about wisdom teeth: You don’t need them. They were critical to our survival years ago when humans consumed a lot of raw meat and tough, fibrous plant matter. Now that most of our foods are cooked to a softer consistency, there isn’t much need for those back teeth that can later bring nothing but excruciating wisdom teeth pain.
That’s why dentists sometimes recommend wisdom teeth extraction if there’s a reason to believe they may cause a problem in the years to come. It’s much easier to remove the third molars within the first few years of development because they aren’t tightly connected to the underlying bone structure.
The longer you wait for wisdom teeth removal, the more likely you are to suffer side effects, which may include:
At Rosary Dental, we want to help you make the best decision for your oral health. Before you decide on wisdom teeth extraction, read this guide to understand the most common reasons that the procedure is recommended. We’re always available to answer questions about wisdom teeth removal cost and wisdom teeth removal recovery.
Overcrowding is often the cause of wisdom teeth pain. Your teeth may fit comfortably in your mouth when there are 28 of them. Add four more, and suddenly there isn’t enough space for comfort. There’s no solution to this problem than to have some or all of your wisdom teeth extracted. Your dentist at Rosary Dental will decide which teeth need to go in order to restore balance in your mouth.
If incoming wisdom teeth cause pain, aching or other signs of irritation, the solution is often wisdom teeth removal. If the discomfort is tolerable, you may wait a short period of time to see if irritation or pain is relieved naturally. If it continues, your dentist will likely recommend wisdom teeth extraction.
Remember, the removal of wisdom teeth becomes more difficult as the teeth settle into the underlying bone structure. Wisdom teeth pain doesn’t always correct itself, so you don’t want to wait too long before agreeing to have them removed when pain is an issue.
Wisdom teeth pain may make it difficult to eat. You may also struggle to keep your teeth clean as pieces of food get lodged in the back of the mouth. If you struggle to reach between the back teeth to remove the food, you may increase your risk for tooth decay and periodontal disease over time. In that case, you’re likely to receive a recommendation for wisdom teeth extraction. The goal is to simply make eating, brushing and flossing more comfortable.
Sometimes fluid-filled sacs develop around wisdom teeth. If you don’t notice the problem or choose to ignore it, the sac could deteriorate the health of the roots and surrounding bone. In some cases, more serious surgery is needed to correct the problem.
The cost of wisdom teeth removal is often far more affordable than the cost of surgery and advanced dental treatment. The faster you move forward with extraction, the less likely you are to suffer from substantial damage below the gumline.
Wisdom teeth can get twisted or turned just like other adult teeth. Unfortunately, you can’t wear braces to straighten them out. Crooked wisdom teeth can also cause other teeth to move out of place. They may even cause nerve damage that leads to significant pain and discomfort. The solution is to remove the wisdom teeth before they can damage other teeth.
Do you suffer from extreme sinus headaches, pressure or congestion? One possible cause is roots from your third molars pushing up into the sinus cavity. This isn’t common, but it’s something to consider if you can’t find any other explanation for your sinus troubles.
Wisdom teeth aren’t exempt from decay. Perhaps they’re even more vulnerable if you can’t reach them to brush and floss around them properly. When cavities start to develop in those back teeth, you may end up with a recommendation for wisdom teeth removal.
A small flap of gum often sticks up just beside a wisdom tooth. It’s difficult to remove small particles of food from underneath that flap. That leaves the back corners of your mouth vulnerable to harmful bacteria that can lead to deep pockets, and eventually, periodontal disease. The gums become inflamed, and the best solution is to extract the teeth to ensure a more thorough cleaning.
While wisdom teeth develop right as most adolescents are transitioning into adult life, extracting those teeth isn’t necessarily a rite of passage. Many people never experience wisdom teeth pain and live comfortably with their third molars for a lifetime. It’s estimated that about 5 million people have wisdom teeth extracted each year, but possibly three out of four of those procedures are unnecessary.
At Rosary Dental, we don’t take recommendations for wisdom teeth removal lightly. Every patient receives a thorough examination by a well-trained dentist, and we discuss all options in detail with each patient. Our goal is to help you maintain all of your teeth, but in some cases, removing the wisdom teeth is the best option for short- and long-term health.