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Wisdom teeth, or third molars, are the final teeth to emerge in your mouth as you transition from adolescence to adulthood. While wisdom teeth served an important purpose in our ancestors’ diets, which required more chewing, today’s diets have made them less useful. For many, wisdom teeth don’t have enough space to grow properly, or their positioning causes issues. Here are 7 warning signs that indicate you may need to have your wisdom teeth removed.

1. Pain or Swelling in Your Mouth

One of the most obvious signs that your wisdom teeth are causing problems is pain or swelling in your gums, cheeks or jaw area. This is usually because your wisdom teeth are trying to erupt but don’t have enough room. The pressure and lack of space can lead to pain, infections and cysts developing under the gumline. If left untreated, this pain and swelling will likely persist and worsen.

2. Discomfort When Chewing

As your wisdom teeth attempt to push through the gums, they can irritate and rub against the teeth in front of them. This often results in some discomfort or difficulty when trying to chew foods. Certain foods aren’t as enjoyable to eat anymore or even painful to chew. This is a tell-tale sign your wisdom teeth need to be removed before more serious dental issues arise. 

3. Gum Recession

Because wisdom teeth are often angled incorrectly or don’t have adequate space, they can end up pushing against your other molars and gums. Over time, this continuous pressure leads to gum recession as the soft tissue wears away. This exposes more of the roots of your teeth and increases the risk of cavities, sensitivity and gum disease if the source of the problem (the wisdom) is not addressed.

4. Decay in Adjacent Teeth

If your wisdom teeth are crowded or misaligned, food particles and plaque can get trapped behind them, making them difficult to clean thoroughly. This often leads to cavities forming in the teeth situated in front. Preventing further decay in nearby teeth is another reason early wisdom teeth removal should be considered.

5. Infection or Abscess

If tissues and pressure around impacted wisdom teeth go unchecked, it can lead to serious infection or abscess. Symptoms include severe pain, swelling, fever and trismus (restricted jaw opening). This becomes a medical emergency requiring emergency wisdom tooth extraction and prescription antibiotics. Preventing things from getting to this stage is ideal.

6. Detection During Routine Dental Exam

During regular checkups, your dentist may discover that one or more of your wisdom teeth are only partially erupted, badly rotated, or lack space. Even if you have no pain, they will likely recommend prophylactic (preventative) removal to avoid future problems. Catching potential issues early is beneficial.

7. Changes to Jawbone or Sinuses

If wisdom teeth remain impacted for many years, they can start distorting the shape of the surrounding jawbone or putting pressure on nearby sinus cavities. Over the long term, this may require orthodontic treatment or oral surgery to correct the resulting changes. It’s best to have symptomatic wisdom teeth extracted before skeletal problems emerge.

Getting problematic wisdom teeth out sooner rather than later can help prevent dental issues in the long term and preserve oral health. An early intervention approach is usually easier on the body and recovers faster. In most cases, it can also help you avoid any major dental procedures! Extraction of wisdom teeth is a fairly straightforward procedure, and most patients can go home the same day. Pain and discomfort can be managed with over-the-counter medications.

Get Your Wisdom Tooth Removed By The Experts

Do you need to get your wisdom teeth extracted? Dentistry in Newmarket is the place to be! Our expert dentists provide quality dental care in a comfortable and patient-friendly environment. We also offer extended hours, including evenings and Saturdays, for your convenience.

Book your appointment today!