All About Your Wisdom Teeth

For children, the thought of losing teeth and growing new ones is an exciting prospect, but as you get older the idea becomes a lot more stressful and painful. One of the most common tooth extractions that many adults face is wisdom teeth removal.

What are Wisdom Teeth

Wisdom teeth are the third molars at the very back of the mouth. They have earned their name due to the late stage at which they grow. Removal of these teeth is a standard right of passage for many teenagers. However, some people don’t actually grow wisdom teeth until they are a bit older. While removing these teeth is common, it is not necessarily something that everyone needs to do. There are plenty of situations in which these teeth are able to grow in healthily and completely. They can grow without causing any disruption to the placement of other teeth and are able to be easily cleaned as part of daily hygiene practices.

In other situations, however, the mouth doesn’t provide sufficient space for the teeth to grow properly. This can cause a number of potential problems for your dental health. Wisdom teeth do not grow consistently from individual to individual. There are plenty of cases where they can grow out at various angles in the jaw. When this happens, removal is often encouraged.

When are Wisdom Teeth Removed?

There are several common problems that will occur with wisdom teeth, typically requiring their removal. These problems include:

  • The wisdom teeth do not emerge completely above the gum line. One of the biggest issues with these teeth is that there isn’t always sufficient room in the mouth. This means that sometimes the teeth will become trapped under the gum line within your jaw. This is referred to as an impacted wisdom tooth and it can become severely painful over time.
  • Potential health hazards can develop in connection with the wisdom tooth, especially in cases when the tooth has become impacted. This may include an infection or even the development of a cyst that can cause harm to the roots of other teeth and even your jaw bone.
  • Even if a wisdom tooth does break through the skin and emerges partially, there are times that the tooth will not emerge completely. The area is hard to see and to get clean. This can create a passageway for bacteria to enter the gum line. Bacteria in this area can lead to severe cases of oral infection and gum disease.
  • When wisdom teeth do push through the gum line they can occasionally crowd out nearby teeth. This can cause pain throughout the mouth, not to mention cosmetic concerns. The pushing of other teeth in the mouth can also lead to a tooth becoming impacted, which can cause gum health issues.

Wisdom Tooth Removal

There are varying techniques and strategies for removing wisdom teeth. However, there is no one strategy that is necessarily perfect for everyone. Some dentists will recommend the removal regardless of their development. This is done as a tool for prevention of potential dental issues. Others will recommend waiting to see what issues may develop before encouraging any form of oral surgery.


The American Dental Association recommends the removal of wisdom teeth in cases in which the following have occurred:

  • The wisdom teeth are causing regular pain
  • Repeated infections are developing at the site of the soft tissue behind the lower last tooth, where the tooth is located.
  • There are cysts, which are fluid-filled sacs that may develop due to an impacted wisdom tooth.
  • There is a tumor present.
  • The wisdom teeth is causing damage to nearby teeth.
  • Gum disease is developing at the location of the tooth.
  • There is evidence of extensive tooth decay.

The best way to determine whether or not your wisdom teeth ought to be removed is to consult with your dental surgeon. Contact Sunrise Oral Surgery for a comprehensive consultation to determine whether wisdom tooth removal is the best step for your oral health.