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Do I Need Wisdom Teeth Removal?

Invisalign Dentist Grand Rapids, MI

Invisalign Dentist Grand Rapids, MI

About 85% of wisdom teeth eventually require extraction, according to the American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons. For this reason, our dentists in Grand Rapids will carefully monitor your oral health to prevent issues caused by impacted wisdom teeth.

Here’s what you need to know about wisdom teeth removal and signs the procedure may be in your future.

Why We Have Wisdom Teeth

Many dentists believe our ancestors needed wisdom teeth and huge jaws to chew tough plants, roots, and raw meat. Despite our change in diet over time and tendency to eat softer foods today, we still carry the gene that allows wisdom teeth to form.

However, since modern humans now have much smaller jaws, there often isn’t enough room for wisdom teeth to erupt. Therefore, if one of our dentists discovers an impacted wisdom tooth or eruptionwill cause severe crowding, they’ll recommend extraction.

Signs You Need Wisdom Teeth Removal

Not all patients experience symptoms of impacted wisdom teeth. For this reason, it’s important to schedule regular visits with our dentists every 6 months so we can monitor the development and trajectory of your wisdom teeth through oral examinations.

Call our Grand Rapids dental office immediately if you recognize any of the below signs that can indicate a need for wisdom teeth removal.

Symptoms to watch out for:

  • Red or swollen gums
  • Sore gums
  • Bleeding gums
  • Bad taste in your mouth
  • Bad breath
  • Swollen jaw
  • Jaw pain
  • Difficulty opening your mouth

The above symptoms will occur near your back molars, where your wisdom teeth will eventually erupt. The longer you ignore your symptoms, the more likely you’ll need emergency dental care.

Wisdom Tooth Pain

If you have wisdom tooth pain, call our office as soon as possible to schedule an appointment to have them removed. On average, wisdom teeth erupt between the ages of 17 and 25. There are also some patients who never develop wisdom teeth or have the teeth come in normally, just like their other molars.

When your teeth are stuck under your gums or coming in at an angle, however, our dentists will recommend wisdom tooth extraction.

Not everyone needswisdom teeth removal. If our dentists see that your wisdom teeth are coming in straight and there’s enough room in the jaw, you may be able to keep your third molars. Our dentists’ main concerns are protecting your oral health and the appearance of your smile.

Impacted Wisdom Teeth

Wisdom teeth that are coming in at an angle will push other teeth out of the way to make room in the jaw. The best way to prevent crowding is to remove the teeth before they erupt. Extractioncan occur once the extra molars are fully formed in the jaw.

Impacted wisdom teeth not only undo years of wearing braces or clear aligners but can also increase your risk of infection. Other problems with impacted wisdom teeth include:

  • Nagging tooth pain
  • Food becoming trapped behind wisdom tooth
  • Tooth decay in partially erupted wisdom tooth
  • A fluid-filled sac, or cyst, forming around the wisdom tooth
  • Damage to another tooth or surrounding bone

People who have their wisdom teeth removed can live normal lives. Since you have eight other molars in your smile, you’ll be able to chew food just fine. We’ll let you know how to care for your smile after wisdom tooth extraction so you can recover quickly.

Candidates for Wisdom Teeth Removal

Each patient is different. For example, a patient may need wisdom tooth extraction if there isn’t enough room in the jaw to accommodate the extra teeth. Another person, on the other hand, may have plenty of space in their jaw and not require the procedure.

We’re able to take X-rays and monitor your wisdom teeth as they form in the jaw. By doing this, our dentists can keep an eye on how your wisdom teeth are moving. If at any point, it appears they won’t erupt through the gum line straight, we’ll discuss removal with you. Our dentists can also take X-rays to determine whether you have enough space in your jaw to accommodate extra teeth.

Schedule an Appointment With Us

Don’t ignore wisdom tooth pain and risk further complications down the road. If you suspect a problem with your oral health, call our office as soon as possible. To schedule an appointment with one of our Grand Rapids, MI, dentists, call Contemporary Family Dental at (616) 209-3969.

This blog post has been updated.