Never Ignore Your Wisdom Teeth!
In recent years, dentists and oral surgeons are more likely to recommend wisdom tooth removal at the first sign of an issue, or even before then! Wisdom teeth are left over relics from our bygone ancestors who didn’t have access to the luxuries we’re accustomed to such as toothpaste and novocaine. This meant that they needed a few extra teeth to come in later in life once a few have been broken, lost, or otherwise put out of use.
Since they’re not needed in modern life, dentists and oral surgeons usually recommend just extracting them and calling it a day. This way they won’t become impacted, push on your existing teeth, or anything else uncomfortable and painful.
But besides our medical professionals telling us when they need to go, what are the signs we need to look for to know if our wisdom teeth are ready to pop?
Signs Your Wisdom Teeth May Need to Come Out
When your wisdom teeth start causing trouble, there are a few obvious warning signs. If you feel pain in the very back of your mouth, or on your back molars, it might be your wisdom teeth popping up or crowding out your existing molars. If there is obvious redness or swelling (if your gums feel puffy) then that’s a sign that your wisdom teeth are up to no good. When a wisdom tooth erupts from your gums, it allows bacteria inside the tissue which can lead to infection.
Sometimes a wisdom tooth will become “impacted”, meaning it’s trapped by either another molar or by your jaw. When this happens, the tooth will continue to push itself against your jaw or molars, causing discomfort. It will also continue to grow roots which may cause further issues.
Some common warning signs of a wisdom tooth problem include:
- Foul breath
- bad taste upon chewing food
If left untreated, impacted wisdom teeth can breed cysts and, in rare cases, tumors.
What To Do if You Suspect You’re Having a Problem
If you have any of the above symptoms, make sure you contact your dentist and ask if you might be having an issue with your wisdom teeth. They will get you in for an exam and make a plan from that point. If the issue IS the wisdom tooth, they might recommend removing all four at the same time. This makes it easier for you and them, by eliminating the need for follow-up visits if the other teeth become a problem. This is common and you will be given the option instead of forced to have all or none extracted. Impacted teeth will require an incision along the gum above the wisdom tooth and will need to be sutured back up.
If you think you’re having a problem, see a dentist quickly! Tooth problems can lead to a whole host of disease and pain in your body, including cardiac and respiratory problems. So don’t mess around when it comes to your mouth!
Wisdom teeth aren’t fun. You don’t think about them until they show up, and when they do it really can ruin your week. Luckily the great staff here at Hospital Dental Group is here to take care of you and any wisdom tooth problems you might be having. Reach out to us using the form on the right or the phone number below if you have any questions or to schedule an appointment today!