The infamous wisdom teeth – those elusive molars that usually make their presence known during the late teen years or early twenties, Wisdom teeth, also often referred to as the third molars, have long been a topic of discussion and, at times, can be a source of concern. These teeth can lead to a variety of dental challenges, from impaction to crowding. In this article, we will explore the important information to know about wisdom teeth, the potential issues they may pose, and when to see your dentist.

About Wisdom Teeth

The wisdom teeth are the third molars and are located in the very back of the mouth. In most cases, they are the last permanent teeth to erupt. While not everyone will need to have their wisdom teeth extracted, according to the Canadian Dental Association, more than 85% of Canadians will require their removal at some point.

For some lucky individuals, wisdom teeth can remain in their mouth if they are:

  • Healthy
  • Fully Erupted from the Gum Tissue
  • Correctly Positioned
  • Can be Properly Cleaned Daily

If wisdom teeth don’t meet the above requirements, then your dentist will likely recommend that they be surgically removed to avoid pain or problems with your other teeth.

 When Are Wisdom Teeth A Problem?

The simple answer to that question is that wisdom teeth become a problem when they start to negatively affect the surrounding teeth. This usually occurs when space is scarce and the wisdom teeth have no place to grow. As a result, the wisdom teeth begin to erupt at various angles and in some cases will grow horizontally instead of vertically, causing impaction.

Some of the most common problems with wisdom teeth are:

Partial Eruption – This occurs when the wisdom teeth only erupt partially through the gum tissue, making them difficult to properly clean and see. When teeth cannot be cleaned properly, they will become an inviting environment for the growth of bacteria, often leading to serious oral health problems.

Unerupted Wisdom Teeth – Sometimes, wisdom teeth remain hidden beneath the gum tissue, eventually causing them to become lodged or trapped within the jaw. An infection or abscess can then develop, damaging the roots of neighbouring teeth and eventually causing erosion of the bone.

Crowding Issues – In some cases, the wisdom teeth erupt fully but cause issues with spacing and crowding, leading to damage to the otherwise healthy teeth nearby.

It is common for dentists to recommend extracting wisdom teeth before they erupt from the gums to prevent any problems from occurring in the future. This also ensures that the other teeth remain healthy, eliminating the risk of any discomfort or pain that is associated with the wisdom teeth. In general, dentists prefer to extract wisdom teeth from younger patients as they typically recover more quickly and are less prone to developing infections.

5 Reasons Why Wisdom Teeth Should Be Removed

By taking an x-ray, your dentist can confirm the growth and positioning of your wisdom teeth and determine whether extraction of one, a few, or all of them, is necessary. They will then examine the shape of your mouth, as well as the health of your other teeth, to see whether there is adequate space for the wisdom teeth to fully erupt.

Some of the most common reasons wisdom teeth are removed include:

  • Pain And Sensitivity
  • Damage and/or Discomfort in the Jaw Damage
  • Damage To Neighbouring Teeth
  • Gum Inflammation
  • Sinus Pressure or Discomfort

When to See Your Dentist

It’s advisable to see your dentist if you experience any of the following signs or symptoms related to wisdom teeth:

  • Pain or Discomfort
  • Swelling and Redness
  • Difficulty Opening Your Mouth Widely
  • Chronic Bad Breath or an Unpleasant Taste
  • Visible Signs of Wisdom Teeth Issues
  • Difficulty Cleaning the Wisdom Teeth

If you are experiencing any of the above, it is important to consult with your dentist. They will be able to advise you on proper cleaning techniques, as well as identify whether it is necessary for the wisdom teeth to be extracted. Routine dental check-ups and cleanings allow your dentist to monitor your wisdom teeth and identify potential issues early on. It’s important to note that not everyone will experience problems with their wisdom teeth, and some individuals may not have any complications, however, this is relatively rare.

If you are concerned about your wisdom teeth or are experiencing any pain or discomfort, don’t wait to see your dentist. Our incredible team at Stonegate Dental is available to help you achieve your healthiest and most beautiful smile possible. Contact our Guelph dentist’s office today!