Getting your wisdom teeth removed can prevent a range of complications. Dentists often recommend that wisdom teeth are extracted if they are likely to develop complications in future. People in their teens and late twenties should see their dentist regularly to check up on the progress of their wisdom teeth.
Painful wisdom teeth
If your wisdom teeth cause you pain, you should see a dentist quickly – do not put off making an appointment. Pain can indicate an infection, a cyst growing around an impacted wisdom tooth, or decay that has reached the root of the tooth. In all of these conditions, your dentist is likely to recommend that the affected wisdom tooth is removed.
What if there is no pain?
Even if your wisdom teeth are not currently causing you any pain, your dentist might still recommend that you have them removed. For example, if your wisdom teeth are partially erupted, they might be susceptible to infection as food particles can get caught in the opening around the tooth, causing bacteria to thrive in the gum tissue. Your dentist may also do an X-ray to see whether a wisdom tooth is pressing against your other teeth or the bones in the mouth. The pressure exerted by a wisdom tooth on bones or other teeth can cause damage, so it is important to monitor the situation carefully and remove the tooth if necessary.
Are you able to clean your wisdom teeth?
It is often difficult to clean wisdom teeth thoroughly, as they are crammed into the back of your mouth, behind all your other teeth. If you are having trouble reaching your teeth to clean them, you should seek advice from your dentist. He or she might be able to give you advice about keeping the teeth free from infection. Alternatively, the possibility of removing the teeth so that they do not become decayed might be discussed.
Managing wisdom teeth
The key to managing your wisdom teeth, whether you choose to keep them or have them removed, is to work with a dentist who you trust. A good dentist can often spot problems with your wisdom teeth and either treat or remove the tooth before a serious infection develops.