Sometime between the ages of 12 and 25, four new molars will emerge (or try to emerge) in your mouth — two molars on each side of your jaw, top and bottom. These outermost molars are commonly called “wisdom” teeth because they appear at maturity. However, it might not be “wise” to keep them, as wisdom teeth often cause a variety of problems in the mouth as they come in, some of which can be painful and cause lasting damage. Your dentist can advise you more specifically as to whether this is a right choice for you, but here are 5 common reasons why you might need your wisdom teeth removed.
1. Impacted Teeth
Wisdom teeth frequently become impacted, meaning they are blocked from coming in, either by bone or other teeth. Impacting can lead to a wide range of other issues, including inflammation, infection, tooth damage and tooth/gum loss, and cyst and tumors. If your wisdom teeth are impacted or are expected to be, your dentist may recommend extraction to prevent further complications.
Wisdom teeth are large molars, and when they try to emerge, they can cause overcrowding, pushing your other teeth out of alignment. This not only affects your smile in general, but it can also cause other complications like inflammation and infection. Your dentist may determine your other teeth will remain healthier and better aligned if the wisdom teeth are extracted, and to avoid damaging your orthodontic results.
3. Tooth Damage
As wisdom teeth try to come in, they can put undue pressure on neighboring teeth and damage them. Your dentist may want to remove the wisdom teeth to eliminate this threat.
4. Cysts and Tumors
Wisdom teeth that don’t emerge properly are also a breeding ground for abnormal tissue growths to occur — most commonly cysts (fluid-filled growths) or even tumors. Cysts or tumors can cause serious complications in the mouth, such as hollowed-out areas, jaw pain, tooth/gum damage and nerve damage, jaw fracture, etc. An oral surgeon needs to remove these growths, as well as extracting the wisdom teeth that are causing the growths to occur.
5. Sinus Issues
The presence of wisdom teeth can cause problems in places other than the jaw. The upper teeth, in particular, can begin crowding and pushing against your sinus cavity, causing infections, sinus pain and other issues. In many cases, the best way to eliminate this sinus pressure is to remove the wisdom teeth.
Your board certified oral surgeon is the best person to evaluate your teeth and help you determine whether you are a good candidate to have your wisdom teeth removed. To learn more, call Riverside Oral Facial Surgery at (706) 235-5570.