You have likely arrived here because your dentist informed you that you need your wisdom teeth removed. You’re also probably thinking to yourself: Do I really need to remove my wisdom teeth? Is it required of everyone to do, regardless if they aren’t causing any pain? Although each case is different, we are here to help explain why most dentists recommend removing your wisdom teeth and for what reasons they do so.
It’s first important to understand what wisdom teeth are in order to understand why you may need them removed. Wisdom teeth are a third set of molars in the very back of your mouth. These teeth normally come in between the ages of 17 and 25, but can easily be seen on x-ray’s if they haven’t yet emerged. Before evolution began changing our bodies, wisdom teeth helped humans crush and chew their food. Nowadays, since food is thoroughly cooked and much softer, our jaws have become smaller and more compact, rendering wisdom teeth no longer a necessity!
Unfortunately, our bodies still create wisdom teeth even though we have less and less room for them in our jaws. So it’s important in some instances to have these teeth removed. Now your question “Do I need MY wisdom teeth removed” is tricky for us to say here as we haven’t evaluated your mouth, but we’re going to give you a few reasons why your dentist might have suggested it.
Your Mouth is Too Small
Some people simply don’t have the room in their mouth for a third set of molars. The additional row of molars coming in to an already full set of teeth become a future issue in patients who may not be experiencing any discomfort at all. When too many teeth are present on a jam-packed jaw bone, the teeth will shift in order to make room for them all. This is a classic case of wisdom teeth crowding that is quite frequent in people who don’t remove their third molars. Although it may not cause pain, having your other teeth shift is oftentimes unsightly and will lead to future orthodontic treatment to remedy. Your dentist will likely answer your question of “Do I need remove my wisdom teeth” with a “yes” if they can identify lack of space in your mouth.
Your Wisdom Teeth Are Impacted
One of the most common reasons a dentist will suggest the removal of wisdom teeth is if they are impacted in your jaw. Due to the lack of space in your mouth, oftentimes wisdom teeth will have difficulties coming in all the way and will either remain in the jaw bone or emerge only slightly. Impacted wisdom teeth pose a very large problem as they oftentimes become very prone to infections. As you can see in the image above, even if the wisdom tooth comes in slightly, the gums can oftentimes hang over the tooth and cause a great deal of pain to you. “Do I need to get my wisdom teeth removed?” In this instance, we would definitely recommend it.
Your Wisdom Teeth Are Angled Improperly
If your wisdom teeth are coming in at an odd angle, it poses a serious threat to your oral health as well. As depicted in the image above, it’s very difficult to clean in the area where the teeth are touching, creating a safe haven for bacteria, infections, and cavities. Although this is bad for your oral health, the most serious need for extraction actually comes from the angle itself. When a wisdom tooth is angled as it is in the image above – or even further horizontal – when it begins to erupt, it will push against your next closest molars. This pushing, combined with the increased difficulty in cleaning, can cause serious complications and movement of your other molars as well. If your dentist mentioned misalignment of your wisdom teeth as the reason for the removal of your wisdom teeth, it might not be such a bad idea to consider it.
Do I Need to Remove My Wisdom Teeth?
Although you might have came across this article browsing the internet and we might not be your dentist, it’s important for you to consider the option of removing these molars. The removal process is normally quite simple and you are back on your feet like normal in only a few days. Hey, it could pose as a great way to take a day or two off of work too!
You don’t want to cause issues to the surrounding teeth in your mouth because you decided to not have your wisdom teeth removed. Don’t let a one tooth problem turn into a multi-tooth problem. If you’d like a second opinion regarding your wisdom teeth, our team is prepared to help answer your questions. Feel free to visit our contact page and reach out to us today.