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Do All Wisdom Teeth Need to Be Extracted?

Do All Wisdom Teeth Need to Be Extracted?

Wisdom teeth extraction — it’s practically become a rite of passage for teens and young adults. But what if your wisdom teeth aren’t causing symptoms? Do they still need to be pulled? The answer, often, is yes. The team at Brooklyn City Dental, located in Brooklyn, New York, wants you to understand why.

The problem with wisdom teeth

Wisdom teeth are the last molars to emerge, typically during your late teens or early 20s. By that time, your other teeth have securely taken up their positions in your jaw, and often that means there’s little room left for these large back molars.

Insufficient room is a common reason why wisdom teeth cause so many problems. When your mouth is already crowded, erupting wisdom teeth can get stuck (impacted) under neighboring molars, causing pain and threatening the health and stability of both teeth. 

Or, a wisdom tooth might grow sideways or at an angle, pressing against the neighboring molar or causing issues with jawbone development. Impacted or trapped wisdom teeth can cause infections and cysts inside the jawbone, damaging the bone as well as the roots of your other teeth.

These are some of the most obvious reasons to have wisdom teeth removed.

Proactive extraction: A wise choice

But what if your wisdom teeth aren’t causing problems? Should they still be pulled? There are several reasons to consider having wisdom teeth removed even if they aren’t causing symptoms.

There’s a good chance they’ll cause issues later

Just because wisdom teeth erupt successfully, that doesn’t mean they’re done moving and shifting. In fact, they can continue to move for many years afterward. That means they can cause problems later on, including damage to adjacent teeth.

Early extraction is preferred

While you can have wisdom teeth removed at any age, it’s better to have the procedure while you're young. That is because the roots have yet to grow to their full length. Extraction and recovery are easier when wisdom teeth are extracted in your teens or 20s.

They can turn harbor harmful germs

Even teeth that don’t pose any crowding issues can still wind up causing oral health problems later on. That’s because wisdom teeth are notoriously difficult to brush and floss, meaning they become perfect harbors for bacteria. That increases your risk of decay, gum disease, abscesses, and bone infections. Removing your wisdom teeth eliminates that risk and makes it easier to keep your teeth and gums clean and healthy.

Of course, if your wisdom teeth aren’t causing pain or threatening neighboring teeth, taking a wait-and-see approach isn’t wrong. But it’s important to have regular checkups so our team can keep an eye on your wisdom teeth and evaluate them for emerging issues.

Here’s the bottom line: the best way to know if your wisdom teeth need to be removed is to schedule a checkup with our team. Even if you're not having symptoms, we can take X-rays and perform a bite analysis to determine if extraction is the best option for your oral health.

To schedule your exam and evaluation, call our office in Brooklyn, New York, or book an appointment online.

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