Wisdom teeth, those pesky rascals in the very back of your mouth, that provide no wisdom at all can cause some troublesome times.
Usually striking in the teenage years they either erupt into the mouth or they don’t. To remove or not to remove, that becomes the question many teens (and parents alike) don’t like to hear the answer to.
I’d like to briefly go over when the third molars may not need to be removed. I prefer to not do anything to them when they are healthy, grow in completely (fully erupted), are positioned correctly, and are able to be cleaned as part of daily hygiene practices. Not many of you will fall into this category.
Why Do Wisdom Teeth Cause Issues?
Often, wisdom teeth don't have the space to erupt into the mouth properly, or they come in at various angles and get trapped just below the gum or sometimes just poking through the gum.
When wisdom teeth don’t erupt, problems can include infections, cysts, and a potential pushing of other teeth. Infections and cysts can cause damage to other teeth and the bones of the jaws. Headaches are a classic symptom of 3rd molar eruptions going bad.
Considering Wisdom Teeth Removal? 7 Signs to Look For
According to the American Dental Association, wisdom teeth removal may be necessary if you experience:
Repeated infection of soft tissue behind the lower last tooth
Fluid-filled sacs (cysts)
Damage to nearby teeth
Extensive tooth decay
We give serious consideration to removing wisdom teeth if they don't fully erupt into the mouth. Some dentists believe it's better to remove wisdom teeth before the roots and bone are fully formed, thinking that recovery is generally a little easier.
We think each person is unique and requires a personalized approach. Continual monitoring of how the third molars are erupting and their placement in the facial structures is key to assessing when and if removal is necessary. This is always discussed with the patient and parents so you can make an informed decision.
Wisdom teeth removal happens to the best of us, me included. Nobody has done anything wrong and there really isn’t a way to “prevent” it from happening.
Hopefully, you or your teen is being monitored by a dental professional who can guide you to make appropriate choices.