If your wisdom teeth are coming in, you may be considering extraction. Wisdom teeth removal is a surgical procedure to extract the four permanent adult teeth located at the back corners of your mouth.
Is Wisdom Teeth Removal Right for Me?
Wisdom teeth are supposed to help us chew meats and vegetables, but they’re not always functional. They grow between ages 17-21, which are known as the wisdom years. Some people don’t get their wisdom teeth removed because they don’t experience pain, but dentists recommend removal to prevent future problems.
Learn more about wisdom teeth removal.
Impacted Wisdom Teeth
Tooth impaction refers to teeth that only partially grow, which is common with wisdom teeth. Wisdom teeth never emerge from the gum tissue, so they stay impacted beneath your gums. Moreover, they typically grow at the wrong angle, so they either grow sideways and clash with your neighboring teeth or grow inside your jaw.
Symptoms of impacted wisdom teeth include:
- Pain and swelling
- Destruction of other teeth and gum tissue
- Bad breath
- Stiffness in the jaw
- Inability to chew food
Sometimes, impacted wisdom teeth may not present any symptoms. However, if your X-rays show significant impaction, then your dentist may recommend you to an oral surgeon for extraction.
Most people have 28 teeth, but once their wisdom teeth grow, they have a full set of 32 teeth, which can lead to overcrowding. Overcrowding may result in pain and discomfort, and there’s no procedure to help make your teeth fit together.
Additionally, you won’t be able to get braces because the extra teeth can’t be straightened. Your only option is wisdom teeth extraction.
Wisdom teeth growth can lead to a loose flap of gum tissue that resides next to your teeth. It can trap food particles and bacteria, which can make your gum tissue become hard and inflamed. Inflammation can make brushing your teeth painful, and you may develop tooth decay.
In severe cases of inflammation, you may develop pericoronitis, which can lead to swelling in the jaw, cheeks, and neck.
- Swelling in the gum tissue (accumulation of fluids)
- A bad taste in your mouth caused by pus leaking from your gums
- Difficulty opening your mouth
- Swelling of the lymph nodes in your neck
If you believe you have pericoronitis, you should visit your dentist as soon as possible. Rinse your mouth with warm saltwater for temporary relief.
The position of your wisdom teeth may have an impact on how well you can clean your teeth’s surfaces, which can promote bacteria growth. Excessive plaque build-up can lead to cavities. Untreated cavities may become larger and affect deeper layers of your teeth, which can result in tooth loss.
Contact Oral & Facial Surgery of Utah
Ultimately, it’s up to you to decide if wisdom teeth extraction is necessary. The board-certified oral surgeons at Oral & Facial Surgery of Utah specialize in wisdom teeth extraction, and we’re here to answer your questions. Schedule your consultation today.