Did you know that dentists and oral surgeons remove around 10 million wisdom teeth per year?
Many people seem to think that removing a wisdom tooth is the only way to handle it. But, dental professionals disagree. Sometimes, it’s best to leave it alone, especially if it’s not causing any symptoms.
This means that not all those 10 million teeth didn’t necessitate wisdom teeth extraction. However, there are legit reasons why you might need to have it removed.
If you’re experiencing any of the symptoms below, removing it might be the best course of action. Read below and see if any of these apply to you.
1. You Have an Impacted Wisdom Tooth
An impacted tooth is one that failed to push through the gum. A partially impacted tooth is when you have a small portion breaking through the gum but the rest remains buried.
Any tooth can become impacted, including your wisdom tooth. When this happens, it calls for wisdom teeth extraction.
Sometimes, impacted wisdom teeth don’t cause any symptoms. Other times, though, it causes a lot of pain to the person on top of tooth damage and other dental problems.
Even if it isn’t painful, it can also cause cavities, tooth decay, and gum disease because the area is harder to clean. In this case, a dental professional will still recommend its removal to prevent future issues with it.
2. You’re Experiencing Persistent Pain
A wisdom tooth growing can cause massive pain due to several reasons; an impacted tooth is one of them. Some people grow theirs without fuss, but if you’re one of those who are finding the experience extremely painful, you might have to go in for an extraction.
Take note of how long you’ve been experiencing pain and how often you feel it. Is it constant or does it get worse at times? This will be helpful for your dentist to see if it’s your wisdom tooth that’s causing the issue.
If it is, the dentist will perform the removal process at a scheduled time. They may administer general anesthesia, but it’s not often needed. You can read more about sedation dentistry here.
3. Your Other Teeth Have Become Misaligned
Wisdom teeth grow crooked or misaligned more often than not. For that reason, it affects its neighboring tooth and often pushes it away. This causes the other teeth to shift, making other teeth crooked, too.
This also happens because of overcrowding; if there’s no space for the wisdom teeth to grow, it will push other teeth away to force its way to the surface. It has the same effect as we described above.
You’ll need to pull out the wisdom tooth to straighten your pearly whites again and to prevent further damage. All the pressure on your teeth can also damage them.
4. You’re Having Difficulty Eating and Brushing
If you’re having trouble eating, you may need to have your wisdom tooth removed.
You can be experiencing pain, pressure, or major discomfort that prevents you from eating or brushing your teeth normally. A wisdom tooth can also cause the area to be sensitive or the jaw can feel stiff and sore.
If you’re experiencing any of these, get your dentist to have a closer look. You will likely get an x-ray of your jaw for your dentist to see what’s causing these sensations. From there, the dentist will dentist if an extraction is the best way to erase these symptoms.
5. You Have Sinus Issues
We’ve established that wisdom teeth grow wherever they want; and sometimes, that’s into the sinus area. Your upper set of teeth are closer to your nasal passages than you think.
When a wisdom tooth grows upwards, there’s a good chance it will impact the sinuses. It can push into them, causing pressure. It can lead to pain, inflammation, congestion, and headaches.
Your wisdom tooth might also get infected. If it grows into the position we described, it can spread the infection to your sinuses, as well.
If you’re having such symptoms, have a dentist check if your wisdom tooth has something to do with it.
6. Your Gums are Hard and Swollen
A wisdom tooth can cause the area around it to become inflamed. When the tooth is growing, it can create a tear in the gum tissue surrounding it. This traps food particles and creates a breeding ground for bacteria.
As a result, the gums can become infected and swollen. It can also cause a “flap” of gum tissue covering the tooth.
This condition is pericoronitis, which specifically refers to the inflammation of the gums surrounding the wisdom tooth. It’s more common among partially impacted teeth.
The treatment for pericoronitis is either wisdom tooth extraction or flap removal. Your dentist is the one who makes that call because based on a few factors, treating the symptoms may be the best way.
7. You Developed Mouth Cysts
If you’re noticing mouth cysts are appearing in the area around the wisdom tooth, it may be due for an extraction. Mouth cysts can differ in size, but generally, they look like sacs filled with fluid. It can also appear anywhere on the gums, inner cheek, and lips.
Mouth cysts are dangerous because they can damage the bones, roots, and structures of the surrounding teeth. They may even turn into tumors, which require a different type of surgery.
A mouth cyst isn’t something that goes away on its own, so you must get it checked out by a dental professional. It’s easy to remove, though. Your dentist might also suggest the removal of your wisdom tooth while you’re at it.
8. Your Dentist Says You Need Wisdom Teeth Extraction
Sometimes, a wisdom tooth won’t cause any of the dreadful symptoms on this list. However, it’s not always a good idea to leave it in if it’s not causing you issues.
Your dentist will assess whether it’s safe to leave it based on several factors. These factors include your dental history, your x-rays, and the structure of your mouth.
If your dentist says you need an extraction, it’s best to listen to them anyway. It might have a high chance of causing you problems in the future.
Ask Your Dentist Today
In the end, it’s the dentist’s decision whether you need wisdom teeth extraction or not. Whatever symptom you’re experiencing, though, make sure to take note of it so you can relay it on your visit.
Visiting the dentist, then, is a whole different matter. Get more tips by checking out our other articles.