My Wisdom Teeth Aren’t Causing Me Any Problems, Can I Keep Them?

If you ask some people, they’d say they’re against wisdom tooth removal if they don’t cause any problems; however, other people believe wisdom teeth will inevitably cause problems down the line, so should be removed. Ultimately, wisdom tooth removal is a personal choice. 

The topic of wisdom teeth removal is a hot button topic among dentists and orthodontists because there are still many unanswered questions about wisdom teeth. Some dentists recommend their patients remove their wisdom teeth no matter what—even if they’re innocuous and aren’t causing issues. Other dentists will only send you off to an orthodontist if they notice that your wisdom teeth are causing problems or are highly likely to cause problems. So, should you keep your wisdom teeth? Keep on reading to decide if surgery is right for you.

Understanding Wisdom Teeth

Wisdom teeth can grow anytime, even well into adulthood. Oddly enough, some people never deal with wisdom teeth because not everyone is born with a full set of teeth. Wisdom teeth are the most commonly missing teeth in kids and adults. Your first telltale sign of erupting wisdom teeth is you feel pain in your upper or lower jaw. Another common symptom of wisdom teeth growth is a sharp sensation of pressure in the back of your mouth. Additionally, the gum tissue that surrounds your wisdom teeth will become swollen and inflamed. 

Some lucky people won’t experience any pain at all; however, the absence of pain doesn’t mean there aren’t any underlying problems. 

Pros of Wisdom Teeth Removal

The benefits of wisdom tooth extraction outweigh the potential adverse side effects. Individuals who choose to have their wisdom teeth removed do it to prevent complications in the future, such as impacted wisdom teeth. Impacted wisdom teeth occur when there’s not enough room for your wisdom teeth to develop properly, which can lead to a host of problems. For starters, having impacted wisdom teeth means buried teeth in either your soft tissue or jawbone. Having hidden wisdom teeth means you won’t be able to clean your wisdom teeth properly, which can lead to tooth decay. Additionally, buried wisdom teeth usually lead to gum disease. Worst of all, having impacted wisdom teeth puts you at risk of cysts and tumors that can develop around impacted teeth.

If X-rays show fully-impacted wisdom teeth, a dentist will recommend wisdom tooth extraction to prevent future problems. 

Cons of Wisdom Teeth Removal

Dentists evaluate impacted teeth on a case-by-case basis, so if you have wisdom teeth, then you may not even need surgery. As with other operations, wisdom tooth extraction can lead to complications. While mild pain is normal after an extraction, you might experience a bacterial infection or dry socket. Bacterial infections can occur two weeks or even two months after wisdom teeth removal. You might develop a dry socket within the next few days after surgery, which is a painful dental condition that occurs when a blood clot at the site of the tooth extraction fails to develop. The socket can also become inflamed if too much food debris collects, leading to even more pain. 

Ultimately, it’s up to you to decide if you should go through with wisdom tooth extraction. If you’ve decided that surgery is right for you, contact the Oral & Facial Surgery of Utah. Schedule your consultation today.