Wisdom Teeth: Do I Leave Them In or Take Them Out?

Because of the course of human evolution, many dentists assume that wisdom teeth have become vestigial structures—an organ that has lost most, if not all, of its function or purpose.

Typically, these third molars come in between the age of 17 and 25—much later than the other teeth, and when a person is wiser and old enough to have gained some wisdom; hence, its name.

If you’ve never had trouble dealing with a wisdom tooth, then you are one of the lucky ones, because for some people, wisdom teeth can be irksome. Therefore, get extracted.

What could be the problem?

Healthy and rightly-aligned wisdom teeth usually do not cause problems. However, if you’re in any of the following occurrences, then your wisdom teeth may be put in a serious position for removal:

  • Your wisdom teeth break through the gums partway and come in only partially because of lack of space. That flap of gum can be a ground for bacteria and food accumulation that can lead to gum infection.
  • They are facing the wrong direction or are crooked.
  • You can’t thoroughly clean them because your mouth’s crowded or they are located so far back.
  • Your jaw is too small for them to fit. In some cases, when there is not enough room, the wisdom teeth get impacted in the jaw and can’t even break through the gums.

What are the symptoms?

Problem-causing wisdom teeth can bring forth stiffness or pain in the area of the jaw where the impacted tooth is. If the tooth is coming in at an irregular angle, then rubs against the tongue, cheek, or top or bottom of the mouth, it may induce symptoms such as irritation and pain.

In addition, if you notice that your teeth are suddenly overlapping and crowding, it may signal that you’re wisdom teeth are coming out.

Another symptom of an impacted tooth is the swelling of an infected flap of gum tissue. This may lead to gum disease and tooth decay if not properly cleaned and treated.

What should I do now?

Dentists in Scottsdale may recommend tooth extraction or surgery if the wisdom teeth are diagnosed problematic. Seek advice from your Scottsdale dentist on how to go about your condition. He or she may decide to take an X-ray or recommend you to an oral surgeon for further evaluation.

About The Author

Dr. Koch

Dr. Robert Koch

Dr. Robert Koch earned a Masters degree in Biomedical Science and Doctor of Dental Medicine degree from Midwestern University. Dr. Koch’s patient-first approach to dentistry is rooted in education for both himself and his patients. Staying up to date with the latest advances in dentistry allows him to offer the best treatment plans for his patients. He aims to educate and inform patients in a comforting environment that allows patients to feel confident in the decision-making process of their treatment.