Did you know wisdom teeth can cause cysts, gum disease, and even damage other teeth? Wisdom teeth, also called third molars, can be a nuisance as they grow in. Whether impacted or not, these teeth can cause a variety of issues.

Wisdom teeth most commonly come in between the ages of 17 and 21. Many people begin to feel discomfort when their wisdom teeth come in, but some never notice. For others, the teeth come in but never grow past the gums, so how do you know when to get your wisdom teeth extracted?

Here are eight signs for when to remove wisdom teeth.

Pain and Discomfort

Wisdom tooth pain is often described as a dull or throbbing pain in the back of the mouth, gums, or jaw. If your wisdom teeth come in and you start to feel any soreness, having your wisdom teeth pulled may be a great way to relieve those feelings of pain and discomfort. 

When you start to feel pain, contact your dentist, and they can conduct an exam. By examining your teeth, your dentist can decide on the best solution forward. Sometimes extraction is not the immediate solution, as your dentist may want to wait for the teeth to fully grow in. 

Inflammation of the Gums

As wisdom teeth come in, they break through the gums and can sometimes leave a gum flap hanging next to the tooth, which can also collect bacteria and food particles, which also lead to intense pain and odors. This can also lead to pericoronitis or swelling and infection of gum tissue. 

Pericoronitis is a sign to see a dentist and find out if you have any infections and if those wisdom teeth are ready for extraction. 

Impacted Wisdom Teeth

Because 90% of people will experience an impacted wisdom tooth, it’s important to know the symptoms. Aside from the normal tooth pain, discomfort, and soreness that can come with new teeth growing in, some people also experience a bad taste in the back of their mouth as the wisdom teeth grow in. 

This bad smell is often a result of infection, usually brought on by an impacted wisdom tooth. Impaction is when the tooth gets stuck under the gums and comes in at a weird angle.

Another reason for bad breath when wisdom teeth are impacted is that it’s harder to pull food particles out of the space since it is harder to see, reach, and navigate. 

Impacted wisdom teeth can also push on the other teeth, causing pain and other complications in the rest of the mouth. 

Cavities Begin to Form

When a wisdom tooth is impacted or crooked, it can be much harder to clean the area. Not only is it harder to reach the back of the mouth, but it can also be painful to the touch, making it easy to neglect the area. 

When the space between the second molar and the new tooth is dirty, it is a breeding ground for bacteria. This can lead to painful cavities in the neighboring tooth. Sometimes, because of the angle of the impacted tooth, it can be impossible to fill the cavity of the tooth until the wisdom tooth has been extracted.

Incorrect or Crooked Growth

When wisdom teeth come in at strange angles, they can cause overcrowding and push other teeth around. While braces are usually the fix for crooked teeth, that is not the case with wisdom teeth. 

These molars cannot be fixed and straightened with braces. Having them removed leaves more room in the mouth for teeth to stay where they are supposed to be without overcrowding. 

Crooked growth is not only an aesthetic issue. In fact, crooked and incorrect growth of wisdom teeth can cause damage to the rest of your teeth.  

Sinus Issues

Many people experience sinus issues when their top wisdom teeth grow in. This is because they are located in the upper jaw, pushing against and adding pressure to your sinus cavities. Sinus pain from wisdom teeth can lead to congestion and headaches as well. 

Swelling in the sinuses can, in turn, cause the rest of your teeth to shift. This is not only painful in the jaw and mouth but can also change your bite due to swelling.

It’s important to see a dentist if this is happening because sinus issues can lead to an abscess of the face, which would require much more extensive and expensive hospital visits if not taken care of in a timely manner. 

Eating Issues

If it hurts to eat, it may be time to have your wisdom teeth extracted. Tooth and jaw pain is a tell-tale sign to see a dental professional. If it hurts to eat, it will most likely hurt to brush your teeth too, which will lead to the many symptoms listed above. 

Cysts Begin to Form

Cysts can begin to form around the wisdom teeth when impacted. These cysts, often called dentigerous cysts, are not usually considered dangerous, but they can cause a lot of pain as the sac begins to fill with a clear fluid. In some cases, the dentigerous cyst can grow into a tumor, which would require additional surgery. 

When to Remove Wisdom Teeth Solved

It is important to take care of your teeth to make sure they are strong, healthy, and pain-free. Wisdom teeth coming in is unavoidable, but taking the proper steps to see a dental professional about when to remove wisdom teeth is important in maintaining proper dental health. 

If you have any of the symptoms listed above, contact us today. When it comes to wisdom teeth removal, corrective jaw surgery, and more, we are committed to providing the best care for you.