how to know when wisdom teeth need to be removed

How to Know When Wisdom Teeth Need to Be Removed

When wisdom teeth grow in, they often crowd the other teeth and can cause painful dental issues. So, how do you know when wisdom teeth need to be removed? At Lifetime Family Dental, we want to help you understand exactly what signs tell you it’s time for an extraction. Continue reading to find out exactly when and if wisdom teeth need to be removed. 

Why Is Wisdom Tooth Removal Necessary?

Wisdom teeth are the third set of molars that begin coming during the late teens or early twenties, usually around 17 to 21 years of age. If the wisdom teeth erupt (emerge from the gums) normally, they may not require removal. However, most of the time, there isn’t enough space for the wisdom teeth and they can become impacted

If your wisdom teeth are impacted, they must be removed because they will damage your other teeth and cause pain. Impacted wisdom teeth are also more difficult to clean, which makes them more vulnerable to tooth decay. Even if your impacted wisdom teeth are not currently causing any discomfort or complications, it’s best to remove them early to prevent future issues.

How to Know When Your Wisdom Teeth Need to Be Removed

You Feel Pain in the Back of Your Mouth

If you feel a dull, aching pain, swelling, or stiffness in your jaw, your wisdom teeth are most likely the culprit. Wisdom tooth pain can spread, causing earaches or headaches and jaw pain when chewing. Sensitivity to hot and cold foods or beverages can also indicate that your wisdom teeth need to be extracted

You might also experience swollen, tender, or bleeding gums in the back of your mouth. Sometimes your gums grow a flap of gum tissue in the area where your wisdom teeth are growing. This gum flap can trap food particles in your mouth, leading to infection and cavities. 

You Experience Sinus Issues

If you have consistent sinus problems, your wisdom teeth could be the cause. As they develop roots, your upper wisdom teeth can push against your sinuses, causing frequent pain, pressure, headaches, and congestion.

Your Mouth Is Overcrowded

Overcrowding occurs when there is not enough space in your mouth for all of your teeth. As your wisdom teeth grow in, they may force your other teeth to shift if there isn’t enough room. Overcrowding causes your teeth to become crooked, which can affect your chewing and digestion. You cannot straighten overcrowded teeth until the wisdom teeth have been removed.  

Your Wisdom Teeth Are Impacted

If you suspect your wisdom teeth are growing in, contact your dentist for an exam. Your dentist will take an x-ray of your teeth in order to determine whether they have become impacted. If your wisdom teeth are impacted, your dentist will likely recommend an extraction to preserve your oral health. 

Dental X-Rays in Gilbert

If you’re still wondering how to know when your wisdom teeth need to be removed, a simple x-ray could provide the answer. If your wisdom teeth are growing in, or if you’re experiencing any of the symptoms listed above, contact Lifetime Family Dental. The sooner we can examine your wisdom teeth, the sooner you can find relief. Call 480-558-4331 to schedule an appointment today.

Images used under creative commons license – commercial use (10/13/2021). Photo by Tima Miroshnichenko from Pexels