Rockwall Oral Surgery

Is It Time?

Wisdom teeth: the inspiration of hilarious post-op videos online and occasionally the embarrassment of your friends and family. All for the purpose of having them removed. But why does something grow in our mouths that needs to be taken out so routinely?

Thousands of years ago, the human diet was much different than it is now. We ate much more coarse, rough raw food that required more teeth to break it down. Over time as we began to cook food, our diets changed and we started eating foods softened by fire. This change in diet is believed to be the cause in our jaws becoming smaller over time. And now, there’s not always room for all of our teeth.

When Will You Know?

Some dentists recommend having wisdom teeth removed no matter what. Regardless of whether they end up causing complications and some recommend removing them as a child before you even find out if they will or not. But if you still have them by the time they typically begin growing in, late into your teenage years or your early twenties. Here are some ways you’ll know if it might be time:

  • Pain – This is the most commonly talked about symptom when it comes to wisdom teeth. Pain can be a sign that the wisdom teeth are emerging or that they are impacting. But consistent pain means it’s likely time to see your dentist or visit an oral surgeon for a consultation.
  • Repeated infection – Infection, especially repeating infections usually mean that the wisdom teeth are becoming impacted. Impacted wisdom teeth don’t emerge normally and become trapped.. Because they don’t emerge fully, they create a passageway that can become a magnet for bacterial growth leading to routine infections.
  • Damage to other teeth – Teeth that become impacted affect the teeth around them. They all share space in your mouth and when one doesn’t grow in right, it can mean they’re pushing up against your adjacent teeth affecting their alignment or chipping away at them.
  • Cysts and tumors – Improper growth can mean wisdom teeth are pushing against tissues they shouldn’t be pushing up against, irritating them and leading to cysts and occasionally tumor growth.

Is It Right for You?

The decision of whether a wisdom tooth or multiple wisdom teeth need to be removed is always a conversation to be had with an expert such as your dentist or an oral surgeon. If you’re concerned about your wisdom teeth, the wisdom teeth of your children or would like to learn more, call Dr. Pollock at (469)264-8921 or visit the Rockwall Oral Surgery contact page here.