Wisdom teeth are the last molars to erupt — usually in your late teens or early 20s. Many people have them removed right away, even before they break through the gums, because they just won’t fit or become impacted, causing potential pain and bite problems.
If you were lucky enough to keep your wisdom teeth, it doesn’t mean you’re in the clear. Problems with these teeth can develop later on and you still may need to have them extracted.
Here at Advanced Care Dentistry, the specialists can help you determine if and when the best time for you is to have your wisdom teeth removed. These are some of the clues that you should set up an appointment to have your wisdom teeth evaluated.
Pain and swelling
Often, wisdom teeth are already causing problems before they erupt through your gums. Your jaw may be too small to hold these new teeth and the wisdom teeth can get stuck under your other molars. You’ll know there’s a problem because you’ll experience discomfort, swelling, and pain.
If your wisdom teeth do emerge, you might start to notice your other teeth gradually shifting. They crowd together or change position, changing the look of your smile and bite.
More difficulty with hygiene
The third molars are set way back in your jaw. This makes them harder to reach when you brush and floss. The possible crowding they cause can also make it harder to keep your other teeth clean. If your hygienist mentions that you have more plaque or tartar than usual, despite a good at-home routine, it may be time to get the wisdom teeth removed.
Your wisdom teeth are erupting and everything seems to be going OK, but then they stop. The skin around them may become irritated and inflamed, leading to infection. Don’t ignore an infection near your wisdom teeth. Have them evaluated and possibly removed to avoid complications.
Your wisdom teeth broke through and seem to fit, but they’re poorly positioned. This puts you at risk of developing a cyst or tumor, which can erode your jawbone and destroy your healthy teeth. If you’re at risk of developing one of these growths, get your wisdom teeth taken out.
Why waiting might be a mistake
Even if you do have enough room in your jaw to hold your wisdom teeth, waiting to have them extracted until a problem arises could be a big mistake. If your wisdom teeth completely develop before being extracted, it’s more possible that you’ll experience a nerve injury when they do come out.
Symptoms to watch for
If you have pain in the area of your wisdom teeth, it’s just one sign that your wisdom teeth need to go. Other symptoms that suggest it’s time for these teeth to go include:
- Unusually bad breath
- Jaw stiffness
- Repeated infections
- Pain or redness and swelling in surrounding teeth
If you’ve had prior orthodontic treatment, but notice changes in your results that are no fault of your own, it could also be a sign that your wisdom teeth are causing problems.
The specialists at Advanced Care Dentistry are experienced at evaluating and extracting wisdom teeth at all stages of development. Call today if you still have your wisdom teeth or use the online tool to book an appointment.