What Can Happen If Wisdom Teeth Are Not Removed?

teen girl holds her jaw in pain from emerging wisdom teeth

Wisdom teeth are the third molars that typically grow in when a patient is in their late teens or early twenties. It’s also around this time that the jaw is just about done growing, so it’s unlikely that any more room will become available on the jawbone. Many people have their wisdom teeth removed because these molars don’t have enough room to grow in properly, which can lead to ruined orthodontic work, crowding, impaction, cysts, and infections, among other things.

Are Wisdom Teeth Important?

It’s normal for patients to weigh the benefits and possible drawbacks of having their wisdom teeth removed. After all, having one or more teeth extracted is a much more advanced treatment than a routine teeth cleaning.

The truth is, wisdom teeth used to be much more useful than they are now. Our ancestors ate foods that were much tougher to chew, and their lack of brushing and flossing meant that they lost many more teeth than most people lose today, so an extra set of molars could come in handy. Now, the food we eat tends to be cooked well and much easier to chew, so we don’t necessarily need extra teeth. As the human jaw became smaller over time, the third molars had less and less room on the jawbone, and extractions became common.

How Will I Know If I Need My Wisdom Teeth Removed?

One of the most common signs that one or more wisdom teeth need to be removed is pain that occurs toward the back of the mouth. If you have noticed unusual pain in your gums or you suspect a wisdom tooth may be trying to grow in, we recommend scheduling a visit with our team so we can assess the situation.

Wisdom Teeth Assessments at Jackson Smiles Family Dentistry

At Jackson Smiles Family Dentistry, we always prefer to remove wisdom teeth before they begin to cause issues for a patient. During your routine cleanings and exams, we will review your X-rays to see where your wisdom teeth are. For some lucky patients, their wisdom teeth have enough room and can be left alone. In other cases, patients may not even have wisdom teeth at all! Whatever the case may be, our team would be happy to assess your smile and create a custom treatment plan that will work for you.

Learn more about wisdom teeth removal today!

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