The wisdom teeth are the ones most likely to cause problems in your mouth because they are the ones that are farthest back and that are the most difficult to clean. Sometimes called the third molars, your wisdom teeth should come in around the time that you are 18, and you will want to have a serious conversation with your dentist about whether or not these teeth should be removed. Here are the top four reasons that your dentist may recommend wisdom tooth extraction.
You Do Not Have Enough Space in Your Mouth
The majority of people do not have enough space in their mouths for all 32 adult teeth. Unless you have already had teeth pulled, such as for braces, or you have a very wide jaw, you most likely will not have room in your mouth for these four extra molars and will need to have them pulled so that they do not rub on neighboring teeth.
Your Wisdom Teeth Are Impacted
Impacted teeth are those that are wedged partially or completely below the gum line and are unable to grow in without hitting a neighboring tooth’s roots. These teeth must often be pulled or cut out to decrease the chance of infection or gum disease.
Your Wisdom Teeth Came in at an Angle
Similarly, wisdom teeth that grow in at an angle will hurt their neighboring teeth. They will also serve no purpose because they will not be able to meet the upper teeth.
Your Wisdom Teeth Are Decayed
Because the wisdom teeth are so hard to clean, they are incredibly prone to cavities and decay, especially when they have not completely erupted. It is easy for plaque and tartar to become stuck beneath the gums and cause disease. If you have a great deal of decay in these teeth, your dentist may recommend extraction.
Keep in mind that there are many different options for pain control with wisdom tooth extraction these days. Many patients opt for general anesthesia or IV sedation, especially for teeth that are impacted. However, your dentist may offer you local anesthesia or nitrous oxide instead if the extraction appears to be particularly easy. By following your dentist’s post-procedure instructions, you can expect recovery to go well and to feel back to normal within four to seven days.