It is common in the modern world for teenagers and adults to have their wisdom teeth removed–but do you actually need to have your wisdom teeth removed? If you want to know more about whether or not having your wisdom teeth extracted is the right decision for you, consider the following important information.

What Are Wisdom Teeth?

First, it’s important to understand what exactly dentists are talking about when they refer to your “wisdom teeth.” These teeth are the last molars that grow; they are also known as “third molars.” Third molars or wisdom teeth do not erupt in every person; some people may not ever have their wisdom teeth erupt, while others may get two or three that erupt in the mouth. Some people may never grow wisdom teeth at all, whereas others will need to endure pain and discomfort due to the growth of wisdom teeth at an inopportune time.

Why Do Wisdom Teeth Need to Be Removed?

Wisdom teeth need to be removed in most—though not all—patients. Wisdom teeth removal is typically done on older teens, young adults and adults as a whole. The reason that dentists recommend wisdom teeth removal will vary on a case by case basis. The most common reasons why wisdom teeth get removed are:

Tooth decay. Wisdom teeth are prone to decay because their location in the back of the mouth makes it hard–and sometimes impossible–to reach with your brush and floss. If your wisdom teeth have been damaged by tooth decay, they will need to be removed in order to prevent further damage to the mouth as well as further damage to the gums and your overall health.

Impaction. Many people have impacted wisdom teeth, or wisdom teeth which form underneath the gums but can’t break through the surface. This is often caused when your mouth is simply too small or when you have teeth growing improperly in your mouth.

Crowded mouth space. If your teeth are crowded due to wisdom teeth eruption, then this can cause your teeth to become crooked and otherwise move into an uncomfortable position. If you have a crowded mouth, then removing your wisdom teeth may be the best option to restore your smile and reduce damage to your other teeth.

Cyst growth. Some people experience cyst growth around their wisdom teeth, which is painful as well as potentially serious: these cysts can cause bone loss in your jawbone, which contributes to tooth loss and damaged nerves.

Sinus pain. Wisdom teeth can actually cause a variety of sinus conditions, including congestion, headaches, and pressure in the face. Removing the wisdom teeth will relieve these symptoms.

What to Do If Your Dentist Recommends Removal

If your dentist recommends removing your wisdom teeth, then you need to act as quickly as possible. The longer you wait to have your wisdom teeth removed, the higher the chances that they will be damaged by tooth decay or other conditions which can impact the overall health of your teeth and gums. 

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