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Dental Health

When to Talk to Your Dentist About Wisdom Teeth
Aug 2, 2018

Wisdom teeth often bring one thing to mind: pain. Around 85 percent of people need to have their wisdom teeth extracted because the teeth usually don’t have room to grow correctly. Our mouths are capable of housing 28 teeth, and the extra four would bump this number to 32. That means the extra teeth cause mouth pain, infection, and damage to surrounding teeth and bones.

Some people experience no trouble with their wisdom teeth, but for most of us, they are a problem. There are several times you might have wisdom teeth removed:

  • The teeth are still below the surface of the gums. At this point, it is possible that the wisdom teeth are trapped, or impacted, within the jaw. Impaction can be problematic, leading to cysts and infection, damaging the surrounding nerves and the structure of jaw bone.
  • The teeth are partially exposed through the gums. Once the teeth are exposed, they can be difficult to clean properly, which may lead to infection from excess bacteria.
  • The teeth have grown in and are crowding surrounding teeth. Sometimes the teeth can come to the point at which they grow in completely, yet improperly. Here, they can crowd/impact the surrounding teeth. This can cause damage to the other teeth in the mouth as well.

So When Should You Mention Wisdom Teeth to the Dentist?

For most people, wisdom teeth begin to grow in between ages 17 and 25. Consequentially, most people also have them extracted around these ages as well, since the roots of the teeth are not fully developed and hardened yet. However, if you have started noticing changes in the area around your molars, it is a good idea to mention it to your dentist. These changes might be an infection, cysts, excessive tooth decay, and anything else out of the ordinary. On the other hand, it is also a good idea to check in with your dentist in your late teens or if you have never had a conversation about your wisdom teeth.

What Can I Expect From the Conversation?

If you speak to your dentist and they conclude that you may need your wisdom teeth removed, they will refer you to an orthodontic specialist who will take over the wisdom teeth process from that point on.

Our team loves to answer questions about teeth; it’s what we do! Make your next appointment today.