Wisdom teeth usually emerge in early adulthood between the ages of 17 and 25. For some people, these third molars fit nicely into the jaw and align with the other teeth, causing no issues at all. But for most, wisdom teeth wind up being impacted, growing in at odd angles or only partially emerging.
When wisdom teeth become impacted, they can wreak havoc in your mouth. Pain, swelling, infections, cysts, and damage to surrounding teeth and bone are just some of the potential problems. Getting wisdom teeth removal Las Vegas NV is often the best solution when third molars start causing trouble.
Signs Your Wisdom Teeth Need to Come Out
How do you know if your wisdom teeth should be extracted? Here are some telltale signs:
As wisdom teeth try to push through gums that are too crowded, the pressure can cause persistent pain and discomfort. This dull, throbbing ache tends to come and go initially. Taking over-the-counter pain relievers and using hot compresses might provide temporary relief. But as the pain worsens over time, extraction is usually necessary.
The impacted wisdom tooth continues trying to erupt, causing inflammation and edema around the back of the mouth. The swelling can range from mild to significant, even affecting the cheeks, jaw, and neck. While anti-inflammatory medication can temporarily reduce the swelling, extraction is the definitive treatment.
Bacteria can easily get trapped under the gums around the impacted wisdom teeth, leading to infection. Signs include pain, swelling, redness, heat, and pus around the wisdom teeth. Antibiotics may be prescribed to clear up the infection, but removing the wisdom teeth is often required to prevent infections from recurring.
When the sac of fluid that once cushioned the emerging wisdom tooth under the gum doesn’t drain properly, it can form a cyst. Wisdom tooth cysts can damage adjacent teeth and roots. They also have the potential to enlarge without treatment. Extracting the wisdom teeth helps prevent further cyst formation.
Damage to Nearby Teeth
Impacted wisdom teeth can put pressure on and shift the teeth next to them, affecting your bite alignment. They can also lead to tooth decay as it becomes difficult to keep the area clean. Getting wisdom teeth removed can prevent this collateral damage.
If you need braces, your orthodontist will likely recommend removing wisdom teeth first. These large teeth at the back of the mouth can undo the progress of correcting your bite after braces are removed. Extracting wisdom teeth prior to braces prevents interference.
Benefits of Wisdom Tooth Extraction
Getting your problematic wisdom teeth pulled offers significant oral health benefits:
- Alleviates pain and discomfort
- Reduces inflammation and swelling
- Prevents recurrent infections
- Allows cysts to heal and disappear
- Stops damage to nearby teeth and roots
- Facilitates proper bite alignment with braces
- Improves ability to clean the area and maintain good oral hygiene
The best time to remove impacted wisdom teeth is usually when you first notice signs of trouble. This helps avoid more complex extractions and extensive problems down the road. If your wisdom teeth are erupting awkwardly or you experience any symptoms like pain or swelling, see your dentist or oral surgeon. Chances are your mouth will thank you for getting those pesky wisdom teeth extracted sooner rather than later.