Dental Services in Mira Mesa

Top Reasons for Removing Your Wisdom Teeth

March 25, 2024

Discovering that you have emerging wisdom teeth can be an exciting milestone on one's dental journey. Typically, these late bloomers make their appearance at the back of the mouth between ages 17 and 25, coinciding with a period of life known as the "Age of Wisdom." For this reason, they are often referred to as "wisdom teeth."

While some individuals can coexist harmoniously with their third molars, others face issues that may require extraction. In fact, for many young adults, wisdom tooth pain is the main reason they seek urgent dental care.

Common Symptoms of Problematic Wisdom Teeth

  • Discomfort
  • Infection
  • Cysts
  • Tumors
  • Damage to surrounding teeth
  • Gum Disease
  • Severe Tooth Decay

One of the main reasons wisdom teeth can cause problems is the limited space in the back of the mouth. Compared to our ancient ancestors, who had larger jaws to accommodate these teeth, modern human jaws are significantly smaller. This size difference has led some researchers to believe that this evolutionary change is due to a combination of softer diets and increased brain size.

When a wisdom tooth cannot fully emerge through the gums and remains partially or fully covered by bone, it's considered "impacted." Depending on the type and amount of overlying tissue, impacted wisdom teeth are classified in different ways. If a wisdom tooth is still covered by gum tissue, it's known as a soft tissue impaction. In contrast, if the tooth remains partially or completely obstructed by bone, it's referred to as a bony impaction.

Even when properly aligned and fully erupted, keeping wisdom teeth clean and free of cavities and gum disease can be challenging due to their hard-to-reach location at the back of the mouth. As these teeth are particularly susceptible to bacterial accumulation and dental infections, our practice may recommend extracting third molars to help preserve the health of your gums and surrounding teeth. By eliminating the need for navigating far-back, hard-to-reach areas, maintaining better oral hygiene becomes simpler and more effective.

In rare cases, wisdom teeth can contribute to the formation of cysts or tumors around the impacted tooth, which may lead to extensive damage to the jawbone and surrounding teeth. Our practice will closely monitor the development, positioning, and health of your unerupted and erupted third molars at every dental checkup appointment. We often advise the extraction of potentially problematic wisdom teeth in adolescents and adults alike before a painful or complex emergency arises. If symptoms develop or become evident, we will promptly recommend extractions as necessary.

At our general dentistry practice, we strive to provide compassionate, comprehensive care for all your dental needs. Our dedicated staff is committed to helping you achieve and maintain a healthy, beautiful smile by offering personalized treatment plans tailored to your unique oral health concerns. If you're experiencing discomfort or other issues related to your wisdom teeth, don't hesitate to reach out for a consultation.

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8901 Activity Rd
Suite 203
San Diego, CA 92126

Office Hours

7:30 am - 3:30 pm
7:30 am - 3:30 pm
8:00 am - 5:00 pm
7:30 am - 3:30 pm