Some of us hardly notice our wisdom teeth coming through. But plenty of others are told at some point during high school or university that they need to get them taken out. Depending on whether the teeth are impacted (trapped under the gum line), the surgery can involve general anaesthetic, stitches and up to a week or two of bed rest.
This process is unpleasant, but is it necessary for most people? The truth is that wisdom teeth don’t need to be removed if they are healthy, grown in completely (fully erupted), able to be cleaned as part of daily hygiene practices and positioned correctly and biting properly with their opposing teeth.
When Is Wisdom Tooth Removal Necessary?
If your wisdom teeth don’t have room to grow properly, they can cause problems. Wisdom teeth can grow at various angles in the jaw, sometimes even horizontally. Your wisdom teeth may need to be removed if they:
- Remain completely hidden within the gums and are unable to emerge normally, meaning they become trapped within your jaw. Sometimes this can lead to an infection or can cause a cyst that can damage other teeth roots or bone support.
- Emerge partially through the gums. Since this area is difficult to see and clean, partially emerged wisdom teeth can become an easy place for bacteria to thrive, causing gum disease and oral infection.
- Crowd nearby teeth. If your wisdom teeth don’t have enough space to properly emerge, they can cause crowding or damage to nearby teeth.
It’s often better to remove wisdom teeth at a younger age before the roots and bone are fully formed. This helps ensure a recovery process that is faster and easier following surgery.
Signs You May Need Your Wisdom Teeth Removed
You may need to have your wisdom teeth removed if you experience changes in the area of those teeth, such as:
- Gum disease
- Extensive tooth decay
- Fluid-filled sacs (cysts)
- Damage to nearby teeth
- Repeated infection of soft tissue behind the lower last tooth
Keep in mind the decision to remove wisdom teeth isn’t always clear. The way wisdom teeth grow differs drastically from person to person. The best approach is to discuss the issue with your dentist if you’re noticing any of the above signs.
Book a Consultation Today at King Street Dental Today
At King Street Dental, we offer quality general and specialised dental care services in Templestowe. This includes everything from regular check-ups to procedures to remove painful wisdom teeth. Whether you’re after professional teeth whitening or dental implants, you can count on our friendly dental experts.