Chances are that you or someone you know personally has had their wisdom teeth removed. And, if your experiences have been anything like my own, not a lot of people have very positive things to say about the procedure. The truth of the matter is, however, that almost everyone actually has to undergo the procedure. Some people never have to get their wisdom teeth removed. There are ways you can tell if your wisdom teeth really need to be removed or not.
What Are Your Wisdom Teeth?
So what exactly are your wisdom teeth? Your wisdom teeth are the very last of your teeth to grow in and break through your gums. They are located the furthest back inside of your mouth, and there are four of them. There is one on the top and one on the bottom on both sides of your mouth.
The actual age that your wisdom teeth finally grow in can vary greatly, but they usually first start forming in your pre-teen years. By the time you are in your late teens, the crowns of your wisdom teeth usually start to erupt through your gums, if there’s enough room for them to do so.
By the time you reach your mid-twenties, your wisdom teeth are usually either completely erupted through your gums or they become what is called “impacted.” If your wisdom teeth are positioned properly and totally healthy, they can actually be a pretty valuable asset to your mouth. However, more often than not, they usually end up causing a lot of people more hassle than help.
When your wisdom teeth erupt through your gums, they often cause a dental condition called “crowding,” which in a lot of people, can lead to abnormal development. There are a couple of different degrees of wisdom teeth impaction. In some cases, wisdom teeth can be partially impacted. This condition occurs when part of their crown is actually showing through the gums. In other cases, they can be what is called “fully” impacted. This condition occurs when they have never actually broken through your gum line.
Signs and Symptoms That You May Need to Have Your Wisdom Teeth Removed
Whenever your wisdom teeth are partially or fully impacted, there is always a risk of developing dental complications. These dental complications caused by impacted wisdom teeth can initially begin with symptoms like mild pain and bleeding gums. However, if these symptoms remain untreated, they can eventually lead to and/or develop into the following dental issues:
- Damaging adjacent teeth
- Tooth and/or gum disease (periodontal diseases)
- Oral cyst development
Now, not everyone has impacted wisdom teeth, and although it is common that a lot of experts will often recommend that you have your wisdom teeth extracted early on, even if you have not yet had any problems with them. If you do not have any symptoms, only a dental office visit can determine if you truly need an extraction.
However, if you do have issues, your wisdom teeth are most likely impacted. The following signs and/or symptoms will often occur:
- Tenderness and/or pain in the back of your mouth close to your gums
- Chewing difficulties
- Reddening of area where your tooth surfaces
- Swelling of your jaw
- A persistent bad taste in your mouth
- Red, tender, swollen and/or bleeding gums
- Unpleasant odor on your breath
Now that you are aware of the signs and symptoms that you may need to have your wisdom teeth extracted, contact us on (253) 770-0198 to schedule an appointment or contact us via our online contact form right away if you are experiencing any of them.