Unless you’re one of the lucky ones born without them, most people get their wisdom teeth between the ages of 17 and 21. Your wisdom teeth grow in behind your molars on both the top and bottom of your mouth and can cause significant problems in your mouth long-term. So much so that most people eventually opt to have them removed. It’s a routine procedure – more than five million people have their wisdom teeth pulled every year!
Not sure if it’s the right choice for you? Here are four reasons you should consider getting them removed.
Pain. Growing teeth can be very painful, but your wisdom teeth can be extra tricky because you are older and they are so far back in your mouth. Additionally, when they erupt through your gums, it can create an entryway for bacteria, leading to gum and jaw pain.
Jaw Damage. Sometimes, your wisdom teeth can’t find a place to come in, so they become impacted or remain below the gums. When this happens, the tooth can become infected, and in more severe cases, a cyst can form. This can damage the roots of other teeth and your jaw.
Space. For many people, by the time their wisdom teeth grow in, they’ve already spent years and thousands of dollars on braces to correct and straighten their teeth. For most, when your wisdom teeth grow in, you don’t have any more room in your mouth, and their arrival can cause overcrowding. These new teeth may push their way in, forcing your other teeth to move out of the way. This can all be avoided by just removing them.
Cavities. Your wisdom teeth are already tough to clean because they are so far back in your mouth. But when they grow in, they can cause your gums to swell. This can create pockets between your teeth which are even harder to clean. Not to mention if the wisdom teeth grow in at an improper angle, they may be impossible to clean. As a result of all of this, you can experience accelerated tooth decay that leads to cavities.
Many dentists recommend you remove your wisdom teeth before they have a chance to grow in and cause problems. The likelihood you’ll have to have them removed eventually is high, and having the surgery is easier at a younger age when your roots and bones aren’t fully formed. Recovery from the surgery is usually quicker for younger patients.
It is important to talk with your dentist about your child’s wisdom teeth in their late teens. Most of the time, a dentist can see the teeth on an x-ray before they erupt and can be dealt with before they have the chance to cause problems. If you have any questions about your wisdom teeth, make an appointment with us to get them checked out!