Do I Have to Get My Wisdom Teeth Removed?

woman wisdom teethWisdom teeth are the third set of molars in the far back of your mouth. They generally show up on dental x-rays in your teenage years. Not all people have wisdom teeth, but for the majority that do, can develop a variety of problems.

Why Should I Have My Wisdom Teeth Removed?

You might not have any problems or feel any pain from your wisdom teeth, but your dentist may still recommend you get them removed for a variety of reasons. Wisdom teeth can cause the following problems in the years to come:

Damage to Surrounding Teeth

Wisdom teeth can push on your surrounding molars, causing sore gums and possible bite problems.

Cavities

Wisdom teeth can push on the surrounding gums, causing gum swelling that can lead to the formation of cavities.

Jaw Damage

Cysts can form around the wisdom teeth. If left untreated, these cysts can leave hollow areas in the jaw and cause nerve damage.

Sinus Problems

Wisdom teeth can affect your sinuses and lead to pain, pressure, and congestion.

Inflammation to Gums

Wisdom teeth often cause gums to get inflamed, leading to swelling and making the surrounding area harder to clean.

Misalignment

Wisdom teeth sometimes are stuck in the jaw with no room to naturally break through the gum line. This is known as impaction, and it can lead to painful gums and misalignment of your other molars as the wisdom teeth push them out of place.

Pericoronitis

This is a bacterial infection that can occur from wisdom teeth that have only partially
erupted.

Can I Keep My Wisdom Teeth?

If you have enough room in your jaw for your wisdom teeth to come in without crowding the surrounding molars, they most likely won’t cause any problems. Some dentists may give you the option to remove other molars to make room for wisdom teeth.

What Happens During Wisdom Teeth Removal?

If your dentist recommends that you should have your wisdom teeth removed, they will refer you to an oral surgeon to perform the extractions. The surgery usually takes no more than 45 minutes and can be performed under local, IV, or general sedation. If your wisdom teeth are impacted, you’ll usually get general sedation that keeps you asleep during the entire procedure. After the wisdom teeth are removed, you may require stitches to close the openings. The stitches will dissolve after a few days.

After surgery, your oral surgeon will provide guidelines to follow to promote healing and manage pain:

  • Use an ice pack to reduce swelling
  • Use moist heat to alleviate pain from a sore jaw
  • Eat soft foods like pasta, rice, or soup
  • Take prescription medication for pain and swelling
  • Drink lots of fluids
  • Exercise your jaw by gently opening and closing your mouth
  • Start brushing your teeth gently the day after surgery
  • Take extreme care not to dislodge blood clots, which speed healing

If you have symptoms that could indicate you may need to remove your wisdom teeth, make an appointment today with Cedar Mountain Dental in Newington, CT or call us at 860-667-2600. Our staff is committed to delivering high-quality patient care that will help you have a healthier smile.