A general dentist can provide services ranging from routine cleanings and exams to the detection and diagnosis of periodontal disease. When patients have an oral health condition that requires surgery, the dentist may refer the patient to an oral and maxillofacial surgeon for treatment. There are several reasons why it may be necessary to obtain…
Wisdom Tooth Extraction: When Should I Have My Third Molar Extracted?
wisdom tooth extraction is not necessary for everyone. Some people have healthy third molars that grow in completely, are properly positioned and can be cleaned with ease. Other people have issues with these teeth and need to have one or more removed. Find out the circumstances for removal to see if you need to make an appointment with the dentist.
When wisdom teeth do not have enough room to fully erupt, they become impacted. Impacted teeth are often positioned sideways or at a crooked angle. While some people with an impacted wisdom tooth do not have any problems, others have issues.
Issues related to impacted wisdom teeth
Those who have problems with impacted wisdom teeth often need to get them removed. People face a variety of issues when the teeth do not fully erupt.
Impacted wisdom teeth can:
- Damage other teeth by pushing against them
- Become decayed because they are difficult to clean
- Gather bacteria that lead to gum disease
- Form fluid-filled cysts that damage the jawbone, nerves and other teeth
- Lead to infection
Crooked teeth and how to avoid them
Some mouths are large enough to accommodate wisdom teeth, but other people do not have enough room. The wisdom teeth might be able to erupt, but then they push the other teeth, making them crooked. Dentists might recommend extracting the wisdom teeth to make room for the other teeth.
Dentists can view X-rays of the wisdom teeth before the roots are fully formed. If there is not enough room for the wisdom tooth, the dentist might suggest having it extracted before it grows in. That way, patients can avoid crooked teeth and other issues associated with wisdom teeth.
It can be difficult to brush the wisdom teeth, and that can lead to a buildup of bacteria. This becomes worse if irritated pockets develop between the teeth. These pockets gather cavity-causing bacteria. If cavities are an issue, dentists often recommend removing the wisdom teeth.
Sinus problems and their symptoms
A wisdom tooth can cause sinus issues when growing in the upper jaw. The roots grow right below the sinuses and can cause pressure. This leads to various symptoms.
If wisdom teeth grow too close to the sinuses, people can experience headaches, sinus pressure and stuffiness. Dentists can use X-rays to determine if the sinus issues are related to the wisdom teeth.
Pain while eating
While not common, some people experience pain when chewing. Food gets stuck between the teeth and gums, making every bite painful. Dentists often examine the patients to determine if there is another option to fix the problem. If not, extraction is recommended.
Start with an examination
Wisdom teeth can cause a variety of problems, including crooked teeth, sinus issues, cavities and infections. Whether your wisdom teeth are impacted or fully formed, you might require an extraction. Talk to a dentist to determine how to move forward with your wisdom teeth.
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