You probably grew up hearing all about wisdom tooth extraction, maybe even laughing at a sibling who had their wisdom teeth removed and spent a couple of days loopy on pain medications. And at some point in your teen or young adult years, you were probably told that you needed your wisdom teeth out, too.
Wisdom teeth — or your third molars — are the last set of teeth to grow in, and they can cause some serious complications if they don’t emerge in a functional way. At Gem Dental, we put together the following information so you can learn who needs their wisdom teeth removed and how to tell if you do.
Does everyone need their wisdom teeth removed?
The short answer: No.
You only need your wisdom teeth removed if they are creating problems. In fact, not everyone is born with wisdom teeth, which certainly eliminates a group of people from needing wisdom tooth removal.
We can only determine whether or not you require a removal procedure by doing a thorough oral exam, during which Dr. George Saliba checks for current and potential problems with your wisdom teeth.
So who does need their wisdom teeth removed? You may need your wisdom teeth removed if:
- Your wisdom teeth are impacted (stuck beneath your gums)
- Your wisdom teeth only partially emerge from your gums
- You don’t have enough room in your jaw to accommodate your wisdom teeth
Any of these scenarios can cause oral health complications, such as gum or jaw infections, pain, cysts, damage to other teeth, and tooth decay.
On the flip side, you may not need your wisdom teeth removed if:
- They’ve emerged fully and are healthy
- They don’t affect any nearby teeth by overcrowding your jaw
- They don’t affect your ability to chew or speak
- You can brush and floss them without issue
How to tell if you need your wisdom teeth out
One reason for removing wisdom teeth early is that they often don’t cause problems until it’s too late. That is, a wisdom tooth may not cause pain, infection, or damage until the root of the wisdom tooth is already established and the portion of your jawbone where the tooth sits has become very dense.
If you wait until that point to get your wisdom teeth removed, the surgery may be more invasive, and the recovery may be longer and more painful.
Because of that, the best way to determine whether you need wisdom teeth removal is to visit us at Gem Dental and get an evaluation. You should also look out for signs that your wisdom teeth are growing in, which include:
- Sensitivity in the back of your jaw while eating
- A sensation of pressure in the back of your jaw
- Pain around your molars
To learn more about wisdom teeth and the removal process, visit our wisdom teeth FAQ. To schedule an evaluation or consultation appointment, call Gems Dental at 281-607-1851 or request your appointment by using our online tool.