Why Your Wisdom Teeth Might Need To Be Removed

Posted on: 19 April 2018


If your dentist has told you your wisdom teeth are erupting and need to be removed, you likely have a lot of questions. Wisdom teeth are the third set of molars, which you don't usually get until you are an adult. While they may have been useful to human ancestors, they are not necessary today. If your wisdom teeth have finally emerged, check out why you may need them extracted.

They Aren't Fully Erupted

Ideally, your teeth grow straight, erupting through the gum and fitting into your bite comfortably. However, some teeth do not erupt fully. The most common reason for this is they grow in sideways. While this can happen to any tooth, it is more common with wisdom teeth because there is little room for them to grow. If your teeth are growing in sideways, they can actually cause pain and damage to other teeth if they grow into healthy teeth. Wisdom teeth also have a harder time erupting simply because the jaw may be too small, forcing the tooth to stay in the gums.

They Aren't Fully Formed

Some wisdom teeth don't fully form. They may not develop fully healthy roots or don't form a full layer of enamel. This is more common if you have supernumerary wisdom teeth. Supernumerary teeth are extra teeth. However, a lot of times, they don't fully form new teeth. If this happens with your wisdom teeth, you may have a partial tooth growing completely under the gum line, or you may have what appears to be a partially erupted tooth. In fact, it has erupted as best it can for its undeveloped size.

They Are Infected or Rotting

The reason teeth are usually removed if they aren't fully erupted or formed is that they can cause infection. Any tooth that isn't above the gum line is prone to infection, which can be extremely painful. The only way to treat an infected tooth is with extraction or root canal therapy, but your dentist will likely not recommend root canal therapy on a wisdom tooth. Similarly, it's hard to reach the wisdom teeth during brushing, so they may quickly rot. If you have large cavities or cracks in your wisdom teeth, it's best to simply have them removed to avoid pain and infection.

Wisdom teeth don't always need to be removed, but for many patients, having their wisdom teeth removed can solve many problems. If you believe you need your wisdom teeth pulled, or if you would like more information about tooth extraction, contact a dental office like Family First Dentistry LLC.