Wisdom Teeth Lebanon & Lancaster
Your wisdom teeth are the third set of molars to erupt in the back of the mouth and are often called the third molars. They are the last teeth to come in, usually when you are in your late teens or early twenties. For some individuals, the teeth come in without complications. However, most people experience difficulties and pain when their wisdom teeth erupt because they do not have enough room for the teeth at the back of the mouth.
Why Do I Need My Wisdom Teeth Removed?
Our ancestors had larger jawbones and needed wisdom teeth to help them chew tough, stringy foods. Over time, as their diets and cooking methods improved, they no longer needed as many molars and their jaws became smaller, not leaving enough room for wisdom teeth. As a result, people now often have complications with their wisdom teeth.
Wisdom teeth can develop a number of issues that indicate extraction is needed. When the teeth start to come in, they may become impacted (stuck in the jawbone). This is painful and can lead to infection, cysts, and problems in the jawbone. If the teeth emerge partially, they are challenging to clean and may damage the adjacent teeth, leading to cavities or gum disease. Finally, if there is not enough room when your wisdom teeth come in, they may damage other teeth or push them out of alignment. Any of these problems can lead to gum disease, dental caries, infection, cysts, or the need for orthodontic treatment.
Signs Your Wisdom Teeth Should be Removed
There are several indications that your third molars should be removed sooner rather than later, including the following:
- Toothache at the back of the mouth lasting longer than two weeks
- Swelling or tenderness at the back of the mouth
- Cysts in the jawbone
- Damage to or crowding of nearby teeth
- Cheek pain lasting longer than two weeks
- Repeated infection behind the second molars where the third molars erupt
- Chronic earaches or headaches
- Jaw stiffness
- Chronic, unexplained sinus problems
When Should Wisdom Teeth be Removed?
We recommend getting your wisdom teeth removed in your late teens when possible. If they are removed before they erupt, you prevent possible complications and avoid the difficulty of having them removed when they have caused an infection or gum inflammation. The longer you wait for wisdom teeth removal, the more likely you will develop complications. The roots of these teeth lengthen as you grow older, and the longer roots can impinge on nerve bundles in the lower jaw, making extraction more complicated and painful.
If you are experiencing any symptoms of wisdom teeth problems, it is best to see an oral surgeon as soon as possible. If your child is in their teens and their wisdom teeth have not erupted, a consultation with one of our oral surgeons is recommended. It may reveal that the teeth are still in the jawbone but will lead to problems when they try to come in. In either case, wisdom teeth removal may be recommended to prevent future pain and complications.
If you do not have your wisdom teeth extracted as a teen or in your twenties, you may develop serious complications in your thirties or older. Unfortunately, the older you are, the longer the recovery process and the higher the risk of complications.
Contact our Lebanon Office at Lebanon Office Phone Number (717) 273-6745 or our Lancaster Office at Lancaster Office Phone Number (717) 740-2373 to schedule a wisdom teeth consultation for you or your teen.