When do I need to remove my wisdom teeth?
Wisdom teeth removal is necessary whenever you don’t have enough space for the wisdom teeth in your jaws. Holding on to trapped wisdom teeth only causes unnecessary pain and discomfort since they eventually need to be removed. Imagine if 5 people are trying to sit on a bench. If the bench is designed to seat five, then they can all sit next to one another comfortably without any issues. However, if the bench is designed to seat only 3 then this creates a problem. In order to fit 5, people will have to squeeze in and annoy one another since there simply isn’t enough room for all of them. This case is similar to what happens when there are two extra teeth (person #4 and #5) trying to fit in your jaw (the bench) and there simply isn’t enough room left for them.
What are the scenarios when wisdom teeth must be removed?
Here are some common occasions where wisdom teeth removal is the more logical route to go:
When your wisdom teeth are sitting at a bad angle
Whenever your wisdom tooth is sitting at a bad angle against the adjacent tooth it needs to be removed. Not only does this cause pain, but it can also create a cavity on your neighboring tooth. You would be wise to remove the wisdom tooth before this happens. Otherwise you’ll most likely end up with two problematic teeth instead of one!
Wisdom teeth which are trapped underneath your gums
Wisdom teeth which are partially trapped underneath your gums also need to be removed. This creates a trap for food particles and accumulates food and bacteria. Trapped wisdom teeth cause your gums to bleed, lead to bad breath and infect the entire region. The sooner you remove these teeth, the less pain and suffering you will endure.
Inaccessible wisdom teeth
Wisdom teeth which are so far back that you can’t properly access also need to be removed. If you can’t access your teeth then you can’t clean them. As a result your wisdom tooth will develop a cavity and become infected. It doesn’t make sense to fill these teeth either, since if you can’t clean them then it’s only a matter of time until they develop a new cavity. Consequently, you must remove wisdom teeth which you can’t properly clean.
What are the advantages of wisdom teeth removal?
An experienced dentist or oral surgeon always advises you to proceed with wisdom teeth removal before it starts causing pain. It’s always best to plan wisdom teeth removal surgery before you actively develop pain. Here are some major advantages of wisdom teeth removal you should be aware of:
You won’t have to worry about pain and infection any longer
Wisdom teeth can hurt a little bit … or a lot! Wisdoms typically start causing pain beginning in your late teens and continue all the way through to your twenties and thirties. Wisdom pain is severe and sporadic and lasts for several days to a week. It is a throbbing, pressure type of pain similar to teething pain.
You will continue suffering from random pain episodes so long as the wisdom teeth haven’t came out all the way. Antibiotics and painkillers can provide temporarily relief but unless you remove the offending wisdom teeth, the pain will continue to return.
Trapped wisdom teeth damage adjacent teeth
Wisdom teeth which are sitting at a bad angle can damage the adjacent teeth. Crooked wisdom teeth gradually create a hole on their neighboring tooth by trapping food and bacteria as well as directly pressing on it. Gradually this leads to a cavity or can even cause an infection.
Treatment of damaged neighboring teeth varies, and it may require a filling or root canal treatment. In the worse case scenarios this damage is so extensive that you have to remove the adjacent tooth. So in addition to the wisdom tooth you now have to lose two teeth instead of just one.
Wisdom teeth cause teeth crowding
When wisdom teeth are coming out they push on adjacent teeth in order to make space for themselves. If there’s not enough room in your jaws, you will start to develop teeth crowding. If you remove your wisdom teeth early on in life then they won’t get the chance to damage your bite and cause crooked teeth. But if you continue to ignore them then they almost always create some degree of teeth crowding.
For those of you who wore braces, you should always remove wisdom teeth soon after completion of your orthodontic treatment. Be careful if there is a prolonged delay after finishing your orthodontic treatment and your wisdom teeth removal surgery. Eve a delay of several months can cause your teeth to relapse and shift a little bit. As a result, it’s very important to wear your retainers during any delay to prevent possible teeth shifting.
helpful hint – Removing wisdom teeth after orthodontic treatment
Whenever you finish any sort of orthodontic treatment you should re-evaluate the status of your wisdom teeth. If it’s determined that your wisdom teeth are problematic then it’s best to have them removed right away. Otherwise you run the risk of ending up with teeth crowding or basically crooked teeth. If you can’t remove your wisdoms right away, then make sure to wear your retainers regularly to minimize any possible teeth shifting.
Headaches, jaw issues, sinus problems, bad breath, etc.
Wisdom teeth which don’t have enough space to come out can create many problems. In addition to pain and swelling, they can be responsible for causing headaches, jaw problems (TMJ pain) or even sinus and congestion problems. These issues are particularly prevalent in younger adults and are more common in females than males.
Problematic wisdom teeth can also cause localized gum swelling, bleeding and even lead to bad breath. When you have painful wisdom teeth it becomes harder to clean the area due to excessive pain. Wisdom pain causes you to neglect your oral hygiene which leads to accumulation of plaque and tartar. This can create gum disease as well as additional cavities on your remaining teeth. As you can see, neglecting to address your wisdom teeth removal can have consequences that go far beyond a simple toothache!