Once you reach your late teen years, you may think that the discomfort associated with losing your baby teeth and growing your adult teeth is finally behind you.
Your wisdom teeth can still break through, even in early adulthood, and despite their name, they won’t make you any wiser.
For many of us, having our wisdom teeth removed is almost a right of passage. But should you still have them removed, even if they don’t present any problems?
When Not to Remove Your Wisdom Teeth?
Your wisdom teeth typically develop anywhere between the teenage years to young adulthood. By that time you have lost all of your baby teeth, and most of your adult teeth are fully developed.
What this means for most people is that there isn’t a lot of space left for your wisdom teeth to fully grow.
Still, there are some instances when wisdom teeth don’t pose problems:
- Your wisdom teeth are healthy
- They have erupted through your gums completely, and are fully grown
- They are positioned correctly and don’t affect your bite
- They can be reached with a toothbrush and floss.
If you are one of those lucky individuals, your dentist might suggest that you keep your wisdom teeth.
When Wisdom Teeth are a Problem?
Just because your wisdom teeth aren’t a source of pain, it still doesn’t mean there’s nothing wrong. A dental exam and x-ray are the only way to know if your wisdom teeth will present a problem in the future.
Your dentists may advise you to take out healthy molars to prevent problems later on. As you age, the bones in your mouth get harder, which will make removing them a lot more challenging, and costly.
Here are some of the common problems caused by wisdom teeth:
- Damage to other teeth as your wisdom teeth can push your other teeth around, causing mouth pain and bite problems.
- Problems with wisdom teeth can lead to sinus pain, pressure, and congestion.
- Tissue around the area can swell causing gum inflammation
- Swollen gums can create pockets between teeth and cause cavities.
- Impacted wisdom teeth can cause problems with crowding and alignment of other teeth
When Should Wisdom Teeth be Removed?
While some people can live with their wisdom teeth their entire life, many will need to have their wisdom teeth removed to preserve the health of their other teeth, gums, and jaw.
Only your dentist can advise you on when is the best time to remove your wisdom teeth.
Ultimately, there is little control you have over your wisdom teeth as they erupt and grow. Partner with your dentist to discuss your options, and to understand if you are a candidate for wisdom teeth removal.
If you have any questions, our office is always happy to speak with you and help you make the best decision.