Can You Live With Your Wisdom Teeth?
Virginia Beach, VA
Located at the very back of the mouth, wisdom teeth are the last teeth to erupt. They get their name from the fact that they generally come in when one is between the ages of seventeen and twenty-five when one is likely to have acquired some wisdom.
Do Wisdom Teeth always need to come out?
Some people keep their wisdom teeth for the rest of their lives, while others need them removed to remedy or prevent dental health complications. Rai Oral Surgery & Dental Implants may recommend that you get your wisdom teeth pulled if they’re painful, causing infections, or crowding other teeth. Wisdom teeth should also come out if they become impacted (that is, they don’t fully erupt from the gums).
We prefer to remove impacted wisdom teeth before a patient reaches the age of twenty since at that age the bones and tooth roots are softer and not fully formed. This makes it easier to remove teeth. Younger people also heal faster, on average. If we wait to remove your wisdom teeth until you’re older, we may have a harder time performing the surgery and your healing period can take longer. On the other hand, if you’re over the age of thirty and have not yet had any issues with your wisdom teeth, there’s a good chance you never will.
We can work with you to help determine the best treatment option for you. If your teeth are impacted, we most likely should remove them. However, if they’re not impacted? We can still remove them to prevent future problems. Both options have risks you must consider.
Problems that can arise after Wisdom Tooth Extraction
If we remove your wisdom teeth, you may experience pain in your gums or when opening your mouth, as well as potential bleeding that lasts more than a day. You may deal with a numb mouth and lips after the effects of the anesthetic wear off, or because of swelling to the jaw nerves. If the blood clot protecting the tooth socket is knocked loose too quickly, you can suffer dry socket, which results in pain and swelling. It’s also possible to see an opening into the sinus cavity if we extract a tooth from the upper jaw.
Fortunately, most of these problems either disappear within the first few weeks after surgery or avoidable if you follow the instructions we give you.
Problems that can arise if Wisdom Tooth are not Extracted
If you decide not to remove your wisdom teeth, you'll have a unique set of problems tied to that choice also. For example, if your mouth doesn't have enough space for your wisdom teeth to erupt, they can get impacted and remain stuck beneath the gums. However, if the teeth emerge only partially through the gums, a flap of gum tissue can grow on top of them. If food gets trapped underneath, the gums can become swollen, red and painful.
Wisdom teeth that erupt at the wrong angle can end up facing the wrong direction. Impacted teeth can spread infection and harm to nearby bones and teeth. Fluid-filled sacs can also form near impacted teeth, and if they grow into cysts, they can do lasting damage to your teeth, bones, and jaw.
You are also at a higher risk of gum disease and cavities at the back of the mouth if your wisdom teeth remain. This is because it's harder to brush and floss effectively back there. However, if you come in biannually for dental check-ups and deep cleanings, we can catch and fix these problems early.
For more information, please contact our office at (757) 425-5781.