Wisdom teeth are the third set of molars in the back of your mouth. You’ve got wisdom teeth on both sides of your mouth, top and bottom. They typically don’t erupt, or come through your gums, until the ages of 17-25.
Some people don’t have wisdom teeth, and some have wisdom teeth that come in straight and don’t cause any alignment or crowding issues. About 85% of people, though, need their wisdom teeth removed to prevent more serious problems.
Dr. Brian LaBombard and our expert team at Airport Dental Care in Austin, Texas, have treated many patients who needed wisdom teeth extraction. Here’s our advice on when wisdom teeth should be removed.
When there’s not enough room
Most adults have room in their mouth for 28 teeth. Wisdom teeth erupting means fitting 32 teeth into the same amount of space. If your jaw isn’t large enough to accommodate wisdom teeth, they either become impacted (unable to erupt) or erupt but are misaligned.
Removing your wisdom teeth gives your other teeth plenty of room in the mouth and keeps crowding issues from developing.
When they’re coming in crooked
Wisdom teeth that do erupt sometimes come in crooked or even sideways, which can damage nearby teeth and cause them to shift and become crooked too.
To protect your other teeth, your dentist recommends extraction if X-rays show your wisdom teeth coming in crooked.
When they’re causing pain
If you’re experiencing pain related to your wisdom teeth, it’s likely the result of an infection that can occur when food and bacteria become trapped in partially erupted wisdom teeth. A buildup of bacteria can also lead to cavities and gum infections.
It’s also possible for fluid-filled cysts to form around your wisdom teeth. These cysts can destroy surrounding bone or tooth roots.
To prevent all of these issues, the best solution is wisdom teeth extraction to remove the source of the problems.
Having your wisdom teeth removed may sound like a major procedure, but it’s become routine and usually doesn’t lead to complications. You need to treat swelling that often occurs after surgery with ice and pain relievers, but you should return to normal within a few days.
If you have questions or concerns about wisdom teeth or think yours are ready to be removed, set up a consultation with the team at Airport Dental Care. Call our office today or book your visit using our online scheduling tool.