Your wisdom teeth are one of life’s funny little enigmas. Much like the appendix, they seem to be a leftover appendage from the days when humans were forced to forage for tough, fibrous plants and eat raw meat. These days, our wisdom teeth seem to create more problems than they solve. When they begin to come in during our late teenage years, they can cause tooth crowding, pain, impactions, cysts, and more. So you may be wondering why we don’t just remove everyone’s wisdom teeth. The truth is, wisdom tooth extraction is actually a very serious surgical procedure that requires general anesthesia and a recovery period that can last weeks, so it should only be undertaken when it’s absolutely necessary.
If your wisdom teeth are giving you problems, you should talk to your dentist about the pros and cons of getting them taken out. In some cases, the wisdom teeth grow in straight and don’t need to be removed but in others, getting them out can save a lot of future headaches. Here are a few cases in which wisdom tooth removal just make sense:
If you have pain in the area of your wisdom teeth, it may be because they’re impacted or they’re not growing in straight. If you let this condition progress, it can lead to all sorts of problems. Your impacted wisdom teeth can become infected, creating a cyst that can destroy surrounding tissues in your jaw. Incorrect growth can be extremely painful, can push your teeth out of alignment, and can damage the roots of nearby teeth (which will inevitably require a root canal to fix). If you have tooth pain, whether in your wisdom teeth or other areas, it’s crucial that you speak to a dentist right away, before your condition gets any worse.
Depending on how your wisdom teeth are growing, they can create gaps where food gets caught and begins eating away at tooth enamel. Over time, this can leave you with severe cavities that necessitate fillings, tooth removal, crowns, bridges, or root canals to fix. If you’ve got wisdom teeth that are creating the potential for cavities, it’s time to speak to your dentist today.
When your wisdom teeth push through your gum tissue, it creates a place for food particles and bacteria to get in between the gum and the sprouting tooth. Once again, this can create a number of difficulties for you in the future, from tooth removal to painful root canals. If your gums are causing you pain and you haven’t had your wisdom teeth removed, it’s a good idea to discuss the issue with your dentist, who can give you a better idea of what’s wrong.
The bottom line is this: whether or not you’re having problems related to your wisdom teeth, only you and your dentist can decide if it’s necessary to remove them. For residents of the Philadelphia area and New Jersey, ZDental wants to be the dental office you trust to advise you on such important issues. Visit our contact page and call the office nearest to you for an appointment. And if you’re having wisdom tooth pain, don’t wait to call; the longer you wait to deal with your wisdom teeth, the more difficult it will be to remove them and the longer it will take you to heal.