Madison
74° F
Overcast
Overcast
Advertisement

When is wisdom teeth removal necessary?

Published On: Apr 21 2014 02:05:49 PM CDT
Updated On: May 05 2014 03:40:32 PM CDT
Toothbrush and toothpaste

By Mayo Clinic News Network

Wisdom teeth may not need to be removed if they are:

  • Healthy
  • Grown in completely (fully erupted)
  • Positioned correctly and biting properly with their opposite teeth
  • Able to be cleaned as part of daily hygiene practices

Many times, however, wisdom teeth — the third molars in the very back of your mouth — don't have room to grow properly and can cause problems. Erupting wisdom teeth can grow at various angles in the jaw, sometimes even horizontally.

Sometimes wisdom teeth only partially emerge through the gums. Other times, they remain completely hidden. Wisdom teeth that aren't able to emerge normally become impacted, or trapped, within your jaw.

If the wisdom teeth emerge partially through the gums, a passageway is created, which can cause problems. And because this area is hard to see and clean, it can become a magnet for bacteria that cause gum disease and oral infection.

Some dentists recommend removing wisdom teeth if they don't fully emerge or if they grow near the nerve of the lower jaw. Many dentists believe it's better to remove wisdom teeth before the roots are fully formed, when someone is younger and more likely to recover faster from surgery. This is why some young adults have their wisdom teeth pulled before the teeth cause problems and become more firmly rooted in the jaw.

According to the American Dental Association, wisdom teeth removal may be necessary if you experience changes in the area of those teeth, such as:

  • Pain
  • Repeated infection of soft tissue behind the lower last tooth
  • Cysts (fluid-filled sacs)
  • Tumors
  • Damage to nearby teeth
  • Gum disease
  • Extensive tooth decay

The decision to remove wisdom teeth isn't always clear. Talk to your dentist or an oral surgeon about the position and health of your wisdom teeth and what's best for your situation.

-- Alan Carr, D.M.D.

Source: http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/wisdom-teeth/expert-answers/wisdom-teeth-removal/faq-20058558/

Advertisement
  • sandwich platter sandwiches food

    iStock / WinterStorm

    10 things that will cost more this fall

    Prices are going up for a wide variety of products and services this fall, from airfare to bacon.

  • James Foley in helmet

    Courtesy Dan Shakal

    Who was James Foley?

    James Foley was an American photojournalist who went missing in Syria almost two years ago. On Tuesday, August 19th, a video, apparently produced by ISIS as a warning to the US to stop air strikes against the group in Iraq, ended with Foley's beheading. Learn more about the life of the man whose his parents call a 'martyr for freedom.'

  • Police lights file 2

    Ridiculous 911 calls

    Have you ever considered calling 911 because of a massive spider in your house? How about because a McDonald's employee got your order wrong? Take a look at some of the strangest reasons people have recently called 911.

Advertisement