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Risks of Keeping your Wisdom Teeth
Most people in their late teenage years think they won’t get any more teeth than the ones they already have, but the chances are that’s not the case. Your wisdom teeth can still erupt at this time or in the early to mid-twenties. If you’re better informed about your wisdom teeth and how they behave, you can better prepare for potential problems they may cause.
Impacted Wisdom Teeth
Very commonly, wisdom teeth become partially or fully trapped underneath the jawbone or soft gum tissue, increasing the risk of disease and other complications. This is what we call impacted wisdom teeth, and they usually need extraction.
Another issue concerns the location of wisdom teeth. Because they lie in the very back of the mouth, they are hard to clean. As a result, they can run the risk of tooth decay and gum disease. Tumors and cysts can form near impacted teeth, but this happens less often.
We evaluate wisdom teeth on a case-by-case basis to determine whether or not to remove them. If one of them is fully impacted in bone and X-rays show that it’s not likely to emerge, we will opt to remove it to avoid further problems down the line.
Symptoms of Wisdom Teeth Problems
Here are some common symptoms associated with problems with wisdom teeth:
The last one may come as a surprise, but the absence of pain doesn’t necessarily mean the absence of a problem. X-rays will reveal wisdom teeth (and issues with them) that are otherwise hard to see. You should have Dr. Crumpton examine your teeth so he can decide if removal is a good option.
Is it always Necessary to Remove Wisdom Teeth?
If one or more of your wisdom teeth become impacted in such a way that brushing and flossing them properly is difficult, we recommend removal. However, if the teeth erupt correctly in a functional and upright position, don’t cause pain, gum disease or tooth decay, then they often won’t need extraction.
Take note, though, that wisdom teeth can still develop problems even if they erupt properly. This is because they are hard to clean and maintain due to their location in the back of the mouth. If you choose to keep your wisdom teeth, you must act proactively in brushing and flossing them well, and come in for check-ups and cleanings biannually.
Is there any way to Avoid Problems with Wisdom Teeth?
Many people ask if there is anything they can do to avoid problems with their wisdom teeth. Unfortunately, we don’t have much control over what our wisdom teeth choose to do. Do your best to practice good dental hygiene and come in for dental visits regularly. However, outside of that, there isn’t much you can do to keep your wisdom teeth under control if you choose to keep them.
For more information, please contact our office at 817-678-7395.