Wisdom Tooth Extraction: When Is It Really Necessary?
Most everyone thinks of wisdom tooth extraction as an essential thing that's just part of young adulthood. In fact, not everyone has their wisdom teeth out. For some, there's enough room in the jaw for them to break through your gums without a problem at all. For others, wisdom teeth never even develop, so there's no concern of extraction at all. If you're wondering whether or not you should have your wisdom teeth removed, you should understand the basics of wisdom tooth problems.
How Much Room Is In Your Jaw?
One of the first things that your dentist will look at to determine the condition of your wisdom teeth is how much room is in your jaw. You need to have enough room for your wisdom teeth to break through without crowding your existing teeth. In fact, sometimes, there's so little room that your wisdom teeth can't break through at all, which leaves them impacted in your gums and in need of surgical extraction.
How Are Your Wisdom Teeth Situated?
Your dentist will take x-rays of your teeth and jaws, which will show how your wisdom teeth are positioned beneath the gum line. Sometimes, limited space in your jaw or malformations in your wisdom teeth can lead to those teeth growing sideways or poorly oriented. When that's the case, your wisdom teeth won't be able to break through your gums. Your dentist will recommend extraction in a case like this.
Are Your Wisdom Teeth Creating More Problems?
Sometimes, the way that your wisdom teeth break through the gums can actually lead to more dental problems than you would think. It can lead to pockets in your gums where food can get trapped. This encourages bacteria growth, which is damaging for your teeth. Your dentist may suggest that you have your wisdom teeth extracted if this is the case.
The same is true if you've noticed some indications of infection in the gums around your wisdom teeth. Signs of infection include swelling, redness, and pain. If you're feeling discomfort around your wisdom teeth, your dentist can examine them to determine if you have an infection. If you do, the infection will need to be treated before you have them extracted. You may even be encouraged to take some antibiotics for a week or two after the extraction to prevent the infection from recurring after surgery.
If you have concerns about your wisdom teeth, talk with your dentist today. He or she can examine them and recommend the best course of action for you.