It’s understandable, the apprehension people often feel about having their wisdom teeth removed. They may have witnessed a loved one’s mouth packed with gauze after a visit to the oral surgeon or have been put off from the procedure because of the level of pain a friend experienced during their wisdom teeth removal. The fact is, most people don’t agree to have their wisdom teeth removed unless they need to come out, and often, they truly do need to come out or they can cause serious problems. However, the good news is that our patients at NextGen OMS don’t always have to opt for McKinney, TX, wisdom teeth removal.
What Exactly Are Wisdom Teeth?
Wisdom teeth are the third set of molars that grow in the very back of our mouths. They don’t come in until later teenage years or even early adulthood. People may or may not experience issues like pain or inflammation owing to their presence. Unfortunately, because these teeth are situated in the back of the mouth, they often aren’t cleaned as well as other teeth. This leaves them vulnerable to decay. However, tooth decay isn’t the only reason why people opt for wisdom teeth removal.
Can I Keep My Wisdom Teeth?
Each year, oral surgeons and some dentists remove a total of about 10 million wisdom teeth annually. However, not everyone has to have wisdom teeth removal and, for that matter, not everyone has wisdom teeth. About 2% never develop wisdom teeth. For most people, these back molars don’t even emerge until they’re between 16 and 20 years of age, and sometimes they don’t emerge at all, but rather, remain submerged beneath the gum line.
If you do have wisdom teeth, you may never be bothered by their presence. In fact, many people do not have wisdom teeth removal. According to Mayo Clinic, you may not need these back molars removed if:
- They are healthy
- They are fully emerged and causing no problems
- They are positioned in the mouth properly
- They can be cleaned with regular hygiene practices
In these situations, there may be no reason to choose wisdom teeth removal unless your oral surgeon or dentist has a specific recommendation related to your oral health.
When Is Wisdom Teeth Removal Necessary?
There are various reasons why you should consider having your wisdom teeth removed. In fact, your oral surgeon or dentist may recommend it depending on the symptoms you are experiencing. Here, we’ll discuss the most common reasons that people have their third molars removed:
Typically, pain in the back of the mouth is what prompts people to seek out their dentist. Often, dentists can tell with a visual exam what’s causing the pain. However, they will invariably take x-rays to determine what’s happening with your wisdom teeth. Your wisdom teeth may be unable to emerge because they are too tightly packed in, a condition known as impaction. If you have impacted wisdom teeth, you may experience significant pain. Some people, however, do not experience pain with impaction.
On the other hand, pain can also be caused by infection. If your wisdom teeth are decayed, an infection may have set in. In such cases, your dentist is likely to treat the infection and then refer you to your McKinney, TX, oral surgeon to have the decayed wisdom teeth removed. If infection sets in once because of tooth decay or tooth damage, it is likely to again. These may be times when extraction of these molars is highly recommended.
Swollen and Bleeding Gums
Impacted wisdom teeth can cause your gums to swell and bleed, leaving them vulnerable to infection. This is a common occurrence when wisdom teeth are impacted. Impacted wisdom teeth can also cause cysts and abscesses to form, contributing to the individual’s discomfort.
Unpleasant Taste in Mouth
When your wisdom teeth are unhealthy, they can lead you to have an unpleasant taste in your mouth as well as sour breath. With wisdom teeth removal in McKinney, TX, these issues are invariably cleared up once the teeth are extracted.
Difficulty Opening Your Mouth
In severe cases, a person might find it difficult to open their mouth because of how the wisdom teeth have emerged or because they are impacted. Impacted teeth can grow in at odd angles. They can also remain submerged and grow completely horizontally. As one may imagine, this can cause substantial pain.
Other Factors of Consideration
Your oral surgeon will provide you with an overview of your oral health during your visit. They’ll be able to tell you about the condition of your wisdom teeth and if they are affecting your other teeth. Sometimes wisdom teeth can damage nearby teeth, especially if they don’t have adequate room to grow in. If you’ve had repeated infections or gum disease has set in, your oral surgeon may recommend wisdom teeth removal. Once the teeth are removed, you should experience improved oral health.
Also, some dental professionals recommend that all impacted wisdom teeth should be removed, even the ones presenting no issues. In time, these teeth could pose problems for individuals. As people age, wisdom teeth extraction can become more difficult and taxing. Many oral surgeons recommend that people have these teeth removed when they are young adults.
If you are concerned about your wisdom teeth and oral health, be sure to visit your dentist routinely for checkups. If you are experiencing problems related to your wisdom teeth or your dentist refers you to NextGen OMS for treatment, we can discuss your options at that time based on our recommendations. If you do need wisdom teeth extraction, we will explain the process so that you know what to expect. We will also explain the aftercare needed and the recovery process. Be sure to visit your dentist or our oral surgery center if you are experiencing any symptoms of oral health discomfort. You could have an infection, and that requires timely treatment. Contact us to schedule your appointment.