When our wisdom teeth finally decide to appear, it can be a painful experience. But pain isn’t always the first sign they need to be removed. In some cases, wisdom teeth removal is entirely unnecessary. Without the benefit of x-ray imaging and medical expertise, it can be impossible for the average person to know the correct course of action to take.
The third pair of molars in the back of our mouths, wisdom teeth are the last to emerge. This can often lead to crowding complications. This is because the modern human mouth usually lacks the room necessary to accommodate these molars. Why? Because modern diets are much softer compared to the diets of early humans. As a result, our jaws don’t grow as wide or long as they used to.
Do All Wisdom Teeth Need to be Removed?
It is entirely possible for wisdom teeth to grow in perfectly healthy. If they are well-positioned for biting, chewing, and regular cleaning, then your wisdom teeth may not be a problem at all.
In most cases, however, one or more wisdom teeth do not have enough room to grow and emerge properly. When this happens, teeth can grow in at various angles, causing a number of complications. Because everyone is different, there are a wide variety of conditions that necessitate wisdom teeth removal:
- If your wisdom teeth don’t have room to grow in, they can remain contained within the gums and become impacted within the jaw. This can result in painful infections or cysts that can cause further damage.
- Partially-emerging wisdom teeth are similarly harmful. When teeth don’t appear completely, the area becomes difficult to clean, attracting dangerous amounts of bacteria that lead to oral infection or gum disease.
- Crowding complications can require the removal of wisdom teeth to address. Even wisdom teeth that erupt (grow in) completely may need to be removed if they cause excess crowding to your molars.
Although some oral surgeons recommend giving your wisdom teeth a chance to grow in fully, others may favor wisdom teeth removal at a younger age when our natural ability to recover is much more potent.
Always consult a trusted oral surgeon if you think you may need an operation or procedure. If you have experienced any of the following conditions or symptoms, get that discussion started right away:
- Tooth or jaw pain
- Multiple infections in the soft tissue near your molars
- Crowding damage to nearby teeth
- Gum disease
- Tooth decay
Get the Help You Need
Obviously, any of these conditions are causes for concern and your trusted oral surgeon can help you determine the best course of action. These symptoms are signs that wisdom teeth removal may be necessary. If they do ultimately need to be removed, the sooner you have the procedure, the easier it will be for you to recover and get back to normal.