Should you get your wisdom teeth removed? That’s a trickier question to answer than you might think! For years, the conventional wisdom (pun intended) in dentistry was that wisdom teeth should be removed before the age of 20.
Preventive wisdom tooth removal
Today, there’s a divide among dentists about when wisdom teeth should be removed. Some say wisdom teeth should be removed at a young age, even if they aren’t causing problems, because the roots and bones won’t be fully formed, so the teeth are easier to remove. Patients also tend to heal faster when they’re younger.
That means two different dentists may differ on when wisdom teeth should be removed, and patients can decide whether or not a preventive surgery suits their needs. But there are certain signs that your wisdom teeth need to be removed as soon as possible – let’s take a look at them now:
Symptoms of wisdom tooth infection and other problems
Wisdom teeth can cause all sorts of different problems – they can become infected, they can crowd out other teeth, and they can even lead to sinus headaches. In any of these cases, getting your wisdom teeth removed is probably the best idea. The signs of problems include:
- Unpleasant taste in your mouth/bad breath
- Jaw pain (similar to TMJ pain)
- Swelling around the jaw
- Red, swollen, tender, and/or bleeding gums in the back of your mouth
- Pain in your wisdom teeth/toward the back of your mouth
- Difficulty opening/closing your mouth
- Sinus headaches
Jaw pain and unpleasant tastes in your mouth can be signs of all sorts of different oral health problems – not just problems with your wisdom teeth. One of the distinguishing factors of wisdom teeth-related health problems is that you’ll tend to first notice the problem toward the back of your mouth, where the wisdom teeth are located.
It’s impossible to be sure of what’s causing an oral health problem without consulting your dentist.
Symptoms your dentist may notice
Not all of the signs that you need your wisdom teeth removed come with pain. Your dentist may notice that your teeth are starting to get crowded, which can lead to problems with tooth alignment. They may also see the beginnings of cavities in wisdom teeth that have only partially erupted.
On the note of partial eruptions, dentists can also know if your wisdom teeth are growing in the wrong way by using x-rays. These x-rays are useful for wisdom teeth that haven’t erupted, or that have only partially erupted.
Dentists may also notice cysts, or other signs of infection – signs that you may not be able to see yourself. After all, your wisdom teeth are located far back in your mouth – unless you have dental implements, they’re not easy to see!
That’s why you should go to your dentist on a regular basis – a dental exam is a must at least once a year, especially if your wisdom teeth haven’t been removed.
If you’re experiencing a lot of pain near your wisdom teeth, don’t delay – go see a dentist right away. If you need emergency dental in Edmonton, get in touch with us – we have multiple locations, and we’re open 24/7.