How Do I Know if I Need My Wisdom Teeth Extracted?

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Your wisdom teeth may need to be extracted even if they aren’t causing any apparent problems. Future problems may appear quickly once the wisdom teeth begin to erupt or emerge from the gums.

Wisdom teeth are so-named because they are the last to erupt and typically don’t do so until maturity (at least from a dental perspective) between the ages of 17 and 25. Most people have four wisdom teeth or “third molars.” Two at the back of the upper jaw and two at the back of the lower jaw.

But since they only make their appearance after the jaw has filled up, there may not be enough room for these “third molars” to make their debut, causing many potential complications. The only way to accurately gauge your future risk is through a professional consultation. Early intervention is vital, so contact us at LANCO Dental Care today. We also welcome you to visit our practice in Lancaster, PA.

The dangers of ignoring your wisdom teeth

The most significant risk is that wisdom teeth may not emerge properly and become impacted, or trapped within or under your gums or jaw. Alternatively, a wisdom tooth may become partially impacted if only its crown breaches the gums.

Wisdom teeth may also grow parallel to the jawbone, toward the back of the mouth, or toward other teeth, pushing them out of the way. And if left to their own devices, they may wreck your dental alignment, cause infection, decay, jawbone damage, and various degrees of gum disease.

And since wisdom teeth sit at the back of the mouth, they’re hard to clean, even for those who practice proper dental care. So, they’re especially susceptible to complications, such as pericoronitis, an infection, and inflammation of the gums surrounding the wisdom teeth.

Tooth decay is also more likely to occur. Not just in the “third molars” themselves, but in adjacent teeth, as the wisdom teeth may block your best cleaning efforts. Worse yet, decay occurring in these hidden regions is difficult to identify and may not be apparent until later stages, when an abscess or other serious issue may have already taken root.

Additionally, since the wisdom teeth grow inside “sacs” or pockets within the jawbone, improper eruption or infection could cause a buildup of fluid within the sac. The resultant cyst can severely damage the teeth, nerves, and jawbone if left untreated.

The overcrowding caused by wisdom teeth causes dental misalignment, leading to pain, discomfort, and an uneven bite that makes chewing difficult and stresses the joints and muscles in the jaw. And without intervention, this can weaken the structural integrity of the jawbone, leaving you more susceptible to jaw fractures.

How to know you may need your wisdom teeth extracted

These are some common signs and symptoms that may indicate that it’s necessary to pursue wisdom teeth extraction:

  • Jaw or tooth pain

  • Swollen, red, tender, or bleeding gums

  • Consistent bad breath

  • A persisting, unpleasant taste in your mouth

  • A swollen jaw that may cause pain or difficulty when opening your mouth

If you experience any of these symptoms, it’s imperative that you contact our expert team at LANCO Dental Care in Lancaster, PA to prevent the many dental problems that may otherwise arise.

For the best dental outcome, seek a consultation today

Considering the number of problems that can develop due to wisdom teeth eruption, it’s essential to schedule a consultation with our expert team at LANCO Dental Care as soon as possible. Timely treatment ensures an easier, more effective treatment and the prevention of future problems. So don’t wait for problems to arise; contact us today! Or visit our practice in Lancaster, PA!

* All information subject to change. Images may contain models. Individual results are not guaranteed and may vary.