Impacted wisdom teeth are blocked from growing properly. They typically remain below the surface of your gum line and lie horizontally instead of standing upright like they are supposed to, mostly because there isn’t enough room for them to grow. Sometimes they sprout out sideways and towards another tooth. Keeping an impacted wisdom tooth that slightly sprouts can be difficult to keep because it can be a place for plaque and bacteria to accumulate. This is bad because it would promote the development of cavities and could lead to a much larger infection affecting more than just your teeth.
Impacted wisdom teeth can possibly collide with the roots of your molars and that can be extremely painful. In addition, while your impacted wisdom tooth is trying to erupt, the wisdom tooth itself can wear down the adjacent tooth and lead to several dental issues. If you decide not to remove your wisdom teeth, be sure to floss your teeth on a consistent basis, getting all the way to the back teeth. And be sure to use fluoridated mouth wash.
There is no “correct age” for wisdom tooth removal. Some people get their wisdom teeth at a young age, while some others get them in adulthood. But if you need to remove wisdom teeth, it would be better to take them out younger because the healing process would be a bit quicker. However, if you’re in your 40s with all your wisdom teeth and they cause no oral health complications, taking them out is not necessary. If you’re unsure, you should see a dentist to get a proper wisdom tooth examination and treatment plan.
When wisdom teeth cause problems, or X-rays show they might down the line, they need to come out. Other good reasons to take them out include:
- Damage to other teeth: That extra set of molars can push your other teeth around, causing mouth pain and bite problems.
- Jaw damage: Cysts can form around the new teeth. If they aren’t treated, they can hollow out your jaw and damage nerves.
- Inflamed Gums: Tissue around the area can swell and may be hard to clean.
- Cavities: Swollen gums can create pockets between teeth that help bacteria grow and cavities form.
- Alignment: Impacted wisdom teeth can undo the effects of braces, bridges, crowns, partial dentures, or any type of dental work.