Should I Visit a Dental Clinic to Get My Wisdom Teeth Removed?
A Look at the Common Signs That Your Wisdom Teeth Are Growing – And May Have to Be Removed
“Should I have my wisdom teeth removed?” is a common question most Gatineau dentists have heard.
The simple answer is: only if necessary.
Your dentist in Gatineau won’t remove healthy teeth that are growing correctly and are not causing harm.
It remains, however, that sometimes wisdom teeth do cause discomfort and pain, especially if they grow incorrectly.
WHAT ARE WISDOM TEETH?
Wisdom teeth are the third set of molars that grow in much later. Most wisdom teeth grow in patients who are 17 to 25 years old. They are thought to have been useful for our ancestors, who ate diets full of raw meat, vegetables, and roots, but as humans evolved and started eating softer foods, human jaws became smaller. Because there is little space left, most patients complain from pain and pressure as their wisdom teeth grow in.
Wisdom teeth can cause crowding in the mouth, which can lead to tooth damage, decay, and misaligned teeth.
Dentists will keep a close eye on the positioning of wisdom teeth in patients who are between the ages of 16 and 19. This way, Gatineau dentists can act quickly if wisdom teeth pose a threat to the other teeth.
Another reason why professionals at your dental clinic will pay close attention to your wisdom teeth during this time is because the roots of the wisdom teeth have yet to connect to the jaw bone. As you get older, however, the roots will most likely grow and anchor themselves to the mandible bone which can make a dental extraction more difficult.
Many dentists will agree that wisdom teeth removal should be done early if the teeth are not correctly positioned.
COMMON MISCONCEPTIONS ABOUT WISDOM TEETH
You’ve most likely heard all sorts of things about wisdom teeth. Here, we’ll debunk a few myths and further explain some essential facts.
Wisdom Teeth Are More Likely to Become Diseased
If wisdom teeth do not grow correctly, and if they are impacted (inclined, or not fully erupting from the gumline surface), they can become more difficult to clean. This may lead to a dental cavity or other problems, but wisdom teeth are not inherently more likely to become diseased.
It’s Easier on Your Body to Remove Wisdom Teeth at a Younger Age
It is easier to remove wisdom teeth before the roots have fully formed and connected to the jaw bone. While some patients will have to have their wisdom teeth removed in their adolescent years, others will have them removed in their early to mid-twenties. There is no specific age for ideal wisdom teeth removal.
Younger patients may, in some cases, heal faster or better than older patients, but age is not a determining factor. The healing process will vary from one patient to another, and most patients have no trouble healing within the following days.
The healing process is affected by oral hygiene, aftercare treatment, and regular habits. Good oral health, correctly following your dentist’s aftercare instructions and avoiding irritant products like tobacco, cigarette, and alcohol can positively impact the healing process after any dental extraction.
REASONS YOUR WISDOM TEETH DON’T NEED TO BE REMOVED
If your wisdom teeth grow incorrectly and don’t cause overcrowding in your mouth, they don’t need to be removed. Other reasons why wisdom teeth are not removed include:
- Healthy teeth;
- No pain;
- Easy to clean and accessible; and,
- Properly positioned for a healthy bite.
SIGNS YOU SHOULD HAVE THEM REMOVED
If you experience any of the following symptoms, you should visit your local dental clinic to speak with a dentist about wisdom teeth removal.
Wisdom teeth that grow incorrectly (crooked, angled, sideways, or partly erupt from your gums) can push your other teeth, cause overcrowding in your mouth and can irritate your gums. Incorrect growth can also cause damage to your other teeth by applying pressure on them.
If your wisdom teeth are causing pain and irritation in your mouth, visit your Gatineau dentist for help. Your dentist will determine the cause of the pain and if your wisdom teeth need to be removed.
Pain While Eating
Wisdom teeth might cause pain while eating, especially if food gets stuck between the teeth and gums. This can lead to tenderness, infection, and severe pain when chewing foods.
Cysts & Tumours
If a cyst forms around any of your wisdom teeth, you will need to have this treated immediately.
Cysts are fluid-filled sacs that can eventually damage bones, roots, and structures that support your teeth. As cysts progress, they can develop into tumors. Visiting a dental clinic in such instances is crucial to avoid complications.
Wisdom teeth that grow in the superior part of your mouth can cause sinus pain. As the teeth’s roots develop, they can put pressure on your sinuses which can result in congestion, pressure, headaches, and pain.
Wisdom teeth can be harder to brush and floss. In hard to reach areas, bacteria can grow and lead to tooth decay (cavities) and gum disease.
Wisdom teeth can create a flap of gum tissue next to the growing tooth. This flap can trap food and bacteria which can irritate the gum tissue, making it inflamed and more challenging to clean. This condition is called pericoronitis, which may also occur before the teeth have pierced through the gums.
PREPARING FOR THE EXTRACTION
If a dentist in Gatineau has determined that you need your wisdom teeth removed, they will set an appointment for you and give you instructions that you should follow to be well prepared for the extraction.
Common instructions include:
- Booking time off from work to recover;
- Stocking up on soft foods to eat during your recovery;
- Having ice packs ready in the freezer;
- Not eating or drinking for a set time before the appointment;
- Preparing soft foods to eat after the extraction;
- Setting up a comfy spot in your home where you can rest comfortably; and,
- Arranging for a friend or family member to drive you home and pick up your prescriptions for you after the extraction.
Make sure to follow all of your dentist’s aftercare instructions to ensure you have a fast and healthy recovery.
Once you’ve healed, you won’t have to worry about your wisdom teeth ever again.