Wisdom teeth... to keep or not to keep?

Dr. Oyler has removed over 1100 teeth since starting here at Oyler Dentistry! 

Some people believe that removing wisdom teeth is not necessary if they aren't causing any problems. Others think that the teeth will only cause trouble and have no real function anyway. There are actually good reasons to carefully consider whether you should have them removed.

Wisdom teeth often do not come in or they only partially break through the gum. This is more common in the lower jaw than it is in the upper jaw. The reason is that there isn't usually enough room in the jaw. Wisdom teeth that don't break through, or called impacted, might not cause any problems. But some people may have pain, swelling, or inflamed gums. Impacted wisdom teeth may also push other teeth out of the way. Wisdom teeth that have fully erupted can also push against other teeth, grow in the wrong direction, and cause inflammation, tooth decay, or other complications. 

Some other reasons to have your wisdom teeth removed include:

  • Jaw damage: Cysts can form around a wisdom tooth. If the tooth is not removed, the cyst can hollow out your jaw and damage nerves.
  • Sinus issues: Problems with wisdom teeth can lead to sinus pain, pressure, and congestion.
  • Alignment: Wisdom teeth can cause crowding of other teeth and even make treatment to straighten other teeth necessary. 
  • Better hygiene: It is very difficult to access partially erupted, or fully erupted wisdom teeth with a toothbrush or dental floss since they are so far back in the mouth. If not properly taken care of, the risk of food debris, bacteria, and acids that lead to tooth decay is very high. 

Please contact our office if you have any questions and if you'd like to schedule an exam and xray for Dr. Oyler to evaluate your wisdom teeth! Happy Smiles!

Danielle O'Rourke