Wisdom teeth – the painful little buggers that are the bane of many young adults. They usually appear between the age of 18 and 25. Studies show that 35% of Americans may not have wisdom teeth. In contrast, others may have all four of them.
But what are wisdom teeth? Are they indispensable?
Wisdom teeth are the third set of molars. Anthropologists also refer to them as “backup” molars. It means they serve as replacements if any of our other molars are lost due to grinding on tough, rough foods. But honestly, they aren’t really important. Not for speech development or proper chewing.
You must also know that the mouth only has room for 28 teeth (not 32). So, wisdom teeth might shift the other teeth around, creating alignment problems. Or they may not emerge properly, resulting in impacted wisdom teeth.
It is why many people get them removed. But is that the only reason? Let’s understand more.
Is Wisdom Tooth Removal a Tricky Procedure?
Wisdom tooth extraction is an extremely common procedure. Wisdom tooth removal surgeries typically last between 40 to 90 minutes. Even if all four wisdom teeth are being removed at once, the process doesn’t last more than an hour. However, there are exceptions if the wisdom teeth are in a difficult position or if they are impacted. So, you can’t opt for just any dentist to take care of the procedure. You must look for advanced dental clinics. The good news is that North Carolina has one registered dentist per 1,660 people. Some practice in renowned technologically advanced oral surgery centers like Carolinas Centers for Oral & Facial Surgery. This center has multiple locations, including one in Charlotte. So, you can safely get wisdom teeth removal surgery in Charlotte, NC, without worrying about the painful outcome.
Signs You Need Wisdom Teeth Removal
1. Unexplained Sinus Problems
Do you often suffer from sinus problems? Is it frequent and inexplicable? It could be due to an impacted wisdom tooth pushing against the maxillary sinuses.
Impacted wisdom tooth? What’s that?
It is when the wisdom tooth can’t break through the gum or partially breaks through but isn’t fully erupted. If this happens, the tooth creates pockets that collect bacteria and food particles. It leads to infection and inflammation of the sinuses. The pressure from these impacted wisdom teeth can also cause headaches and facial pain.
If left untreated, sinus issues caused by wisdom teeth can lead to more severe complications, such as damage to the surrounding teeth and jawbone.
2. Oral Inflammation
Not all wisdom teeth stay hidden away. Sometimes, they break through the gum line and wreak havoc on the delicate gum tissue surrounding them. It can lead to an inflamed and painful mouth that makes everyday tasks like eating and talking a real challenge. And as if that wasn’t bad enough, the inflammation can spread to your lymph nodes and cause a recurring sore throat. So, you end up with a swollen, aching, and frustratingly uncomfortable mouth and throat. If this sounds like your situation, don’t suffer in silence. Talk to a dental professional ASAP and get the relief you need!
3. Unpleasant Taste in Mouth
Does your mouth often taste odd? Does it feel slimy or metallic? Is bad breath a recurring problem? All these are clear signs of wisdom teeth infection. It may be due to wisdom teeth not coming in straight and creating pockets in the gum line. Bacteria gets trapped in these pockets and cause inflammation, leading to cavities, pain, and an unpleasant taste in your mouth.
But I’m always at the top of my oral hygiene. Then why?
Well, wisdom teeth are in difficult-to-reach areas of your mouth, and sometimes, no matter how thorough you are with brushing and flossing, bacteria can still manage to build up.
You can try home remedies such as salt water rinses and special toothpaste to get rid of the bad taste. But if the problem persists, see a professional.
4. Swollen Gums
Do you remember your younger ones teething phase? Swelling and inflammation of the gums due to tooth eruption are pretty common. The same concept applies to wisdom teeth too. When the third molars erupt, the gums can become swollen and inflamed too. The area around the wisdom teeth may even appear red and tender.
If you don’t get the swollen gum treated, it can become infected and form an abscess. It can further spread to the teeth, jawbone, and surrounding areas. In most cases, wisdom tooth removal is the only way to prevent it from happening. It is a severe medical emergency that needs attention without any delay.
5. Pain While Chewing
Do you experience shooting pain while chewing? It could be due to an impacted wisdom tooth that has yet to break through the gum line. The pressure from the erupting tooth causes inflammation and pain.
Sometimes, you may also experience a dull ache near the back of your mouth or jaw. It is because of the ill-fitted wisdom tooth that sits at a weird angle in your mouth and occasionally brushes against your cheek or tongue. The only way out is wisdom tooth removal.
6. Crooked or Overcrowded Teeth
As we mentioned, your mouth only has so much space. And over the years, our teeth tend to shift and get crooked due to overcrowding. It is because wisdom teeth push other teeth to make room for themselves. The result is a misaligned smile and decreased oral health.
Overcrowded and crooked teeth can also disrupt your bite and cause TMJ (temporomandibular joint disorder). It results in pain and limited jaw movement. Luckily, it’s preventable. Visit your dentist and let them take an X-ray to determine the alignment of your wisdom teeth. If they are positioned in a way that will cause crookedness and overcrowding, go for wisdom teeth removal to restore dental equilibrium.
Overall, if you experience any of the above-mentioned symptoms, you may need wisdom tooth removal. It is essential to consult an experienced dental professional and get the correct diagnosis and treatment plan. Delaying it can cause further complications, and you don’t want that.
So, if you suspect a wisdom tooth problem, get it checked and treated before it gets worse. You can also take preventive measures such as maintaining oral hygiene, visiting the dentist regularly, and abstaining from certain foods like sugary and starchy snacks. Take care of your teeth, and keep smiling!