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Do Wisdom Teeth Have to Be Removed?

Do Wisdom Teeth Have to Be Removed?

If you’re lucky, you’ll have no problems when your third set of molars — wisdom teeth — comes in. Problems arise when there’s insufficient space for them, resulting in pain, wear and tear on neighboring teeth, or even failure to emerge through the gums. 

While some wisdom teeth erupt easily and on schedule between ages 17 and 25, others lead to dental problems and must come out.

Our expert dental professionals at Hometown Family Dental Centers in Fayetteville, Vass, and Raeford, North Carolina, perform extractions when a tooth is too severely decayed or damaged to save. However, extraction isn’t always necessary. Here, our team addresses a common question, “Do wisdom teeth have to be removed?”

The trouble with wisdom teeth

The molars in the back of your mouth are larger than your other teeth and premolars. Your wisdom teeth are even larger than the first two sets, and they erupt when your mouth already has 28 adult teeth in place. Some people have no problem with this arrangement, but many do.

Because your wisdom teeth are visible on an X-ray long before they erupt, we can determine whether you’ll have a space problem. If you will, the best solution is extracting the wisdom teeth before they can do any harm.

If your teeth are crowded, your wisdom teeth may only partially emerge through your gum tissue (impaction). Partial eruptions trap food particles, bacteria, and plaque between teeth and gums, making it more difficult to brush, floss, and keep the area clear of infection and decay. In this case, we may opt for extraction to benefit your overall oral health.

Even if your wisdom teeth can come in completely, they may still not play wellwith their neighbors. They may poke up at an angle to your other teeth or crowd those teeth together. They can also scrape against your cheeks or gums, causing persistent sores. The teeth themselves can cause pain and uneven wear by rubbing against your other, established teeth.

The importance of addressing wisdom teeth early

Whether they came in correctly or not, wisdom teeth may create even more problems after you reach 30 for two reasons: 

  1. Their roots continue to grow as you age
  2. Your jawbone holding the teeth in place becomes denser

If you’re over 30 and need an extraction, the procedure may be complicated, especially if you have impacted wisdom teeth. You may also need an extended recovery period.

The risk of complications as you get older is why some dentists proactively extract wisdom teeth while you’re still young — you don’t need the teeth, the process is easier, and it prevents any potential problem from developing later on.

If you’re concerned about your wisdom teeth, or they’re having trouble erupting through the gum, they may need to be extracted. Hometown Family Dental Centers can help. 

Contact our office by phone or on the website to schedule an evaluation with one of our dentists.

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