When To Ask About Wisdom Teeth Removal
Wisdom teeth removal is a common procedure that most people need at some point. These teeth are a third set of molars that emerge in early adulthood. Not everyone has them, but most do.
There is rarely enough room for these extra teeth, so you should be aware of these 4 signs that it’s time to remove them:
1. Noticeable Changes in the Area
Your wisdom teeth or third molars are at the very back of your mouth. You’ll have two sets of existing molars: your 6-year molars and 12-year molars. Wisdom teeth emerge behind these teeth. You normally have four wisdom teeth, although some people only have their top two or bottom two.
You may notice the area behind your molars change as the third molars teeth start to emerge. For example, you may feel them with your tongue and see them upon close inspection.
Wisdom teeth often have issues during eruption. They may not erupt at all and just feel like bumps under your gums, but more commonly, they impact other teeth, your gums, and surrounding bone tissue. This generally leads to only partial eruption, meaning only a small part of the tooth is visible.
Additionally, you can look at your other molars to see if you may need wisdom teeth removal. Impacted third molars can push against your molars, causing them to shift or become crooked. If you notice a change in your molars, you will likely need wisdom teeth removal soon.
2. Wisdom Teeth and Infection
Wisdom teeth are prone to infection because they have a tendency not to erupt fully, leaving various gaps and pockets in the gums where they emerge. They can also press tightly against other teeth.
Both of these factors make it more difficult to maintain proper oral hygiene. You won’t be able to brush and floss effectively in this area, which will allow bacteria to thrive. Those bacteria are responsible for tooth decay and gum disease and can lead to infection. And untreated infection can spread to surrounding tissue and eventually cause serious issues—even tooth loss.
You may experience inflammation, soreness, and drainage from the area, as well as fever in serious cases. Any signs of infection are reasons to see your dentist immediately.
3. Pain and Tenderness
As your wisdom teeth emerge, you can experience pain and tenderness in the area. Third molars that partially erupt cause similar soreness as when any other teeth emerge. However, they can cause further issues.
Partial eruption can cause gum inflammation. Impacted third molars also put pressure against other teeth, which can cause pain—especially when chewing. And if an infection takes hold, these symptoms can worsen.
The third molars can also create additional pressure in your jaw that leads to soreness and pain. You may experience jaw pain when opening and closing your mouth or a persistent ache.
4. The Right Age Range For Wisdom Teeth to Come In
Ideally, you won’t have to watch for symptoms that you need wisdom teeth removal. If you keep up with routine dental appointments, your dentist will monitor your development and let you know when it’s the right time.
In general, it’s best to perform third molar removal during early adulthood. The typical age range is 18 to 24 as that is when these teeth tend to emerge, although the specific time will depend on your individual case.
Waiting until later can lead to a more complex removal procedure. Teeth are easier to remove while they are still developing. Past the age of 24, the roots of your third molars will be fully formed and can be more difficult to remove.
In some cases, earlier removal may be appropriate. Your dentist may notice this during routine appointments, or you might start to experience some of the symptoms related to wisdom teeth problems. In any case, keeping up with your preventive cleanings and evaluations is the best way to make sure you get the care you need.
Don’t hesitate to bring up wisdom teeth removal.
If you notice any of these signs, don’t hesitate to bring them up with your dentist. At Allred Family Dentistry, we provide a full range of dental treatments, including wisdom teeth removal, with the latest technology. Dr. Ben Allred and Dr. Marc Allred can determine if and when you need your third molars removed.
To find out whether it’s time for your third molars to come out, schedule an appointment with our friendly team today.