Your wisdom teeth are a third set of molars, which usually appear when you are between 17 and 21 years of age. These teeth are rarely functional and therefore cause crowding and other issues within the mouth. Therefore, dental professionals will often recommend removing them before they break through to prevent any potential problems. The following are some common signs it might be time for your wisdom teeth to come out. If you notice any of these signs, contact us today to schedule a consultation:
Signs of Impacted Wisdom Teeth
If your wisdom teeth try to come in but don’t have the space to emerge fully from the gums, they become impacted. This can lead to:
- Jaw pain.
- Difficulty opening your mouth.
- Bad breath.
- Stiffness or swelling in the jaw.
- Bleeding, tender or swollen gums.
General Symptoms of Wisdom Teeth Issues
Even if your wisdom teeth aren’t impacted, they can still cause issues. You could experience the following:
- Irritation & Pain: As your wisdom teeth grow, they can cause pain and discomfort in the mouth. An x-ray can rule out other causes of pain and zero in on the wisdom tooth problem.
- Problems Eating: Sometimes, when your wisdom teeth are trying to come through, it can cause food to get stuck between the tops of those teeth and your gums. This can cause issues with eating and can make proper oral hygiene nearly impossible. Often, extraction is recommended to prevent further complications.
- Shifting Teeth: If your teeth were straight and now are beginning to look crooked or crowded, newly emerged wisdom teeth could be the culprit.
- Sinus Problems: When wisdom teeth come in through the upper gums, the roots can rub against or put pressure on the sinuses, which can lead to sinus related issues. In some cases, it can even lead to congestion and headaches.
- Inflamed Gums: The tissue around the emerging or not yet broken through wisdom teeth can easily become inflamed due to various issues like trapped food. This is a condition called pericoronitis.
- Cavities: When your gums are irritated and you are unable to properly brush due to food getting stuck, this can obviously lead to cavities. Bacteria thrive in this type of environment, making your teeth more susceptible to the development of cavities.
Do Wisdom Teeth Always Have to Come Out?
There are several schools of thought on the subject. Some experts believe you should leave wisdom teeth alone if they aren’t bothering anything or trying to emerge, or if the mouth has room to accommodate them, should they push through. Others believe it’s best to remove them if you suspect they will try to come in and there isn’t room to accommodate them in the mouth. Some orthodontists recommend having them out early, when a patient is still in braces to prevent a potential shift in a newly straightened smile should they come through the gum line. Thankfully, the skilled professionals at Aspire Surgical can easily determine which category you fall into and either recommend extraction or promote and wait and see approach. Contact us today to schedule a visit to learn more.