Can I Keep My Wisdom Teeth?

Wisdom teeth are those that grow at the very back of the mouth. They are the last teeth to form and are generally seen between the ages of seventeen and twenty-five. Of course, not all wisdom teeth develop correctly. It is believed that the teeth were once replacements for those that would naturally fall out of the course of a lifetime. That was before the age of the modern dentist. Today, thanks to proper oral hygiene and a better understanding of teeth, it is not as common for a person to experience tooth loss. Thus, the need for wisdom teeth has been eliminated. Unfortunately, this also means that there is often too little space at the back of the mouth for the new arrivals. This can cause them to grow in crooked, incorrectly, or not at all.

If my teeth are impacted… When the teeth are unable to break through the surface — either because there is not enough space for them or because they are at the wrong angle — they are referred to as ‘impacted’. There are many dangers linked to leaving impacted teeth in place. They should be removed or else the individual is placed at increased risk of serious infection. Infections that begin in the mouth can easily spread through the bloodstream to impact other areas of the body as well. So, the mere act of ignoring an impacted tooth can spell serious disaster for a person. Even if the infection doesn’t spread, it can result in the formation of a cyst at around the impacted tooth. The fluid-filled growth can continue to develop until it actually results in the hollowing of the jaw bone, destruction of nearby nerves, and destroys the surrounding teeth.

But I am pain free…Even if the tooth has not yet caused you any harm, if it has not grown in properly, it is highly suggested by any dentist that you have it removed. When wisdom teeth erupt, but only partially, it can point to problems in the future. First and foremost, the bacteria is more likely to form about the tooth, leading to damaging decay and possible infection. When it has erupted at an undesirable angle, it can push against the neighboring tooth, eventually cracking or otherwise harming it. A Waco dentist can remove the tooth with very little pain today, which makes the procedure much less torturous than one might expect.

But my teeth have grown in correctly… If this is the case – the teeth have grown in straight and problem free – then the dentist will likely agree that you are safe to keep them. However, it is important to realize that, being so far back in the mouth, it is more difficult to keep them properly clean. This can make them more susceptible to decay and also suggests a greater need for regular professional check-ups and cleanings.

If you are uncertain about the state of your wisdom teeth, consult a professional. There is no harm in asking and it may help you to avoid serious complications down the road.