With age comes wisdom, but also wisdom teeth. Our mouths go through many changes over our lifetime, with one major milestone including the appearances of your third molars. Usually occurring between the ages of 17-21, properly aligned wisdom teeth can help you chew and contribute to your overall oral health.

 

What Happens When Problems Arise?

Wisdom teeth aren’t a bad thing, but they can (and often do) lead to other complications. One common issue is that there just isn’t room in your mouth for them to fit properly, often causing them to come in at an angle or in the wrong position. In other cases a wisdom tooth can become “impacted”, meaning it is trapped under your gums or in your jaw.

Your dentist will monitor the progression of your wisdom teeth looking for:

  • Position and alignment
  • Spacing (where food and bacteria can become trapped)
  • Partial but not full protrusion from the gums (can cause an increased risk of infection)
  • Pain, swelling or stiffness in the jaw
  • Impacted teeth, cysts or damaged roots

Indications that you May Need to Have your Wisdom Teeth Removed

Every patient’s situation is unique and needs to be evaluated by our team of experienced and compassionate dental professionals. The following represent common cases when there is a good case for removing the wisdom teeth:

  • Infection
  • Cysts
  • Pain
  • Tumors
  • Gum disease
  • Damage to neighboring teeth
  • Tooth decay

Wisdom teeth removal may also be a recommended treatment option as part of a holistic approach that may include other treatments or appliances such as braces.

 

To Keep or Not to Keep – that is the question

Together, you and your dentist will discuss the best options to help you maintain the highest level of oral health. They will discuss with you any findings on x-rays and will help you understand the potential risks associated with your wisdom teeth and whether or not those may warrant removal.