Is Removing Wisdom Teeth Always Necessary?
Ask most adults and they will tell you every details of when they had their wisdom teeth removed. Not an easy experience, wisdom tooth removal leaves many people with a story to tell about the aftermath of their tooth extraction.
Although commonly thought is a necessity, having your wisdom teeth removed is not always necessary. There are times when your wisdom teeth can grow in correctly and take their rightful place among the rest of your healthy teeth without causing any issues.
If your wisdom teeth are impacted, however, or their development will cause mouth crowding, then removal might be not only necessary, but imperative, for your oral health. The only way to know for sure is to have Winnipeg oral surgeons examine your wisdom teeth to find out their positioning, and whether or not you have enough room for them to come in.
In general, there are only two things that wisdom teeth can do: grow in naturally without problem or become impacted and become a huge problem.
What are impacted wisdom teeth?
A wisdom tooth is considered impacted when it can’t come in naturally because there is some other tooth in its way. Wisdom teeth that don’t have room to grow in normally usually remain at the gum line and will shift horizontally instead of being upright and ready to grow in.
Other times, they are in a position where they just won’t have the room necessary to come through the right way. They can grow into or toward another tooth, leading to painful nerve damage of the other tooth.
If the wisdom tooth can come through just a little, then it’s exposure area can become a breeding ground for bacteria and plaque and lead to an infection that can harm all of your teeth and even your jaw.
If your impacted wisdom tooth is allowed to grow sideways into the roots of another molar and the nerves in that root erupt, it can cause extreme pain. There are other times when there is no pain, but the impacted wisdom tooth grows gradually and can lead to dental issues left undetected.
What if wisdom teeth have already come in and don’t hurt?
Just because your wisdom teeth have already grown in and don’t cause you pain does not mean that you can’t benefit from having them removed. Even if they are causing a slight amount of crowding in your teeth, your dentist might recommend the that you have them removed.
The reason is because if you have crowding in your mouth, then your risk for bacteria and cavities increase, which can lead to poorer dental health outcomes down the road. The easiest way to make sure that your wisdom teeth don’t cause any damage is to have them removed.
When should you get your wisdom teeth removed?
There is no magic age for getting your wisdom teeth taken out. Some people have them removed well before adulthood while others wait far into their adult years to have them taken out. Some people develop wisdom teeth as preteens while others might never have them grow at all. Keep monitoring your wisdom teeth and check with professionals about their advice.
If your wisdom teeth are causing you any problems, then it is time for them to come out. It is usually easier to have your wisdom teeth removed when you are younger and their healing time is reduced, but if you have not had them removed by your 40s, and they aren’t causing any problems, it is probably not necessary to remove them.
Is it painful to have your wisdom teeth removed?
No, it is not painful to have your wisdom teeth removed as long as you are given the appropriate amount of sedation and post-surgery medication. Soreness can result from the procedure, and most pain is felt after the procedure is done.
If you do things post-procedure like avoid sucking from a straw and keep the area clean of infection, then your healing time should be pain-free and only consist of mild discomfort.
The decision to remove wisdom teeth depends on an individual’s bite and how the wisdom teeth fit into the scheme of their oral health. There are times when wisdom teeth need to be removed and other times when they are perfectly fine to stay where they are.
The only way to know for sure if you are okay with them is to have a dental professional examine them. Even if your wisdom teeth aren’t painful now, that does not mean that they won’t develop problems in the future if they aren’t taken care of.