10 Signs You May Need Your Wisdom Teeth Removed

Nov 3, 2023 | Patient Tips

Wisdom teeth, also known as third molars, typically develop between the ages of 17 and 25. While some people have no issues with their wisdom teeth, others may experience discomfort and complications. It’s important to be aware of the signs that indicate the need for wisdom tooth extraction. There are at least 10 signs that show when you may need to have your wisdom teeth removed

Why do some people need their wisdom teeth removed?

Some people may need their wisdom teeth removed due to various reasons. Common reasons include impacted wisdom teeth (when they don’t have enough space to fully erupt), crowding of existing teeth, damage to adjacent teeth, development of cysts or tumors, recurrent infections, and difficulties in cleaning and maintaining oral hygiene.

Pain and Discomfort

One of the most prominent signs of wisdom teeth problems is pain and discomfort in the back of your mouth. This can range from a dull ache to sharp, throbbing pain. If you feel persistent discomfort or pain in the area where your wisdom teeth are erupting, it may be an indication that they need to be removed.

Swelling and Redness

Another visible sign of wisdom teeth complications is swelling and redness around the gum line. Inflammation occurs when the wisdom teeth try to push through the gums, causing irritation. If you notice any swelling or redness in the back of your mouth, it’s advisable to consult a dentist.

Jaw Stiffness

If you experience jaw stiffness or difficulty in opening and closing your mouth, it could be due to impacted wisdom teeth. When the wisdom teeth try to emerge but do not have enough space to fully grow, they can place pressure on the surrounding tissues and cause jaw stiffness.

Gum Infection

Impacted wisdom teeth can create pockets in the gum tissue where food particles and bacteria can accumulate, leading to gum infection. Symptoms of a gum infection include bad breath, a foul taste in the mouth, and swollen, tender gums. If you notice these symptoms, it’s crucial to seek dental care promptly.

Crowding of Existing Teeth

Sometimes, the presence of wisdom teeth can cause crowding in your mouth. As the wisdom teeth emerge, they can push against the neighboring teeth, causing them to shift out of alignment. If you notice your teeth becoming crowded or overlapping, it may be due to the eruption of your wisdom teeth.

Damage to Adjacent Teeth

In some cases, wisdom teeth can cause damage to adjacent teeth. The pressure exerted by erupting wisdom teeth can lead to dental issues such as tooth decay, gum disease, and even fractures in nearby teeth. If your dentist notices signs of damage to your surrounding teeth, they may recommend wisdom tooth removal.

Sinus Problems

Believe it or not, impacted upper wisdom teeth can cause sinus problems. When the roots of the upper wisdom teeth grow close to the sinuses, they can cause sinus pressure, congestion, and pain. If you have recurring sinus issues without an apparent cause, it’s worth consulting a dentist to evaluate your wisdom teeth.

Cysts and Tumors

In some cases, cysts or tumors may develop around impacted wisdom teeth. These growths can cause significant damage to the jawbone and neighboring teeth if left untreated. Regular dental check-ups and X-rays can help detect any abnormalities associated with wisdom tooth development.

Difficulty in Cleaning

Wisdom teeth are located at the back of the mouth, making them hard to reach and clean properly. Inadequate cleaning can lead to the accumulation of plaque and bacteria, increasing the risk of tooth decay and gum disease. If you find it challenging to clean your wisdom teeth effectively, extraction may be necessary.

Recurring Infections

If you frequently experience infections or abscesses in the area where your wisdom teeth are erupting, it may indicate a need for removal. Recurring infections can be a sign that the wisdom teeth are causing ongoing issues and should be addressed by a dental professional.

Are there any risks or complications associated with wisdom tooth removal?

Like any surgical procedure, there are potential risks and complications associated with wisdom tooth removal. These may include infection, dry socket (a painful condition where the blood clot does not form properly in the extraction site), nerve damage, and prolonged bleeding. However, these complications are rare, and dentists take precautions to minimize them.

While not everyone needs their wisdom teeth removed, it’s crucial to be aware of the signs that may indicate their extraction. If you experience any of the ten signs discussed, it’s advisable to consult a dentist who can evaluate your situation and recommend the appropriate course of action. Remember, early intervention can prevent further complications and promote optimal oral health.

If you’re ready to have a consultation about your wisdom teeth being removed, feel free to contact any of our Topping Dental Group Locations:

Topping Dental Group Nappanee: (574) 773-9700

Topping Dental Group Elkhart: (574) 848-7487

Topping Dental Group Middlebury: (574) 825-1252