When Should You Opt For Wisdom Tooth Removal?


30 August 2022

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Wisdom tooth is a misnomer because it doesn’t make anyone wiser. Wisdom teeth are late-stage molar teeth and often cause intense discomfort when they emerge from the gums and crowd into your other teeth. In extreme cases, wisdom teeth can often cause problems with jaw alignment, affect sinus and cause long-term damage, such as cavities and cysts. However, some fortunate people don’t experience such intense symptoms and level of discomfort. So, for such people, the question arises – when should you opt for wisdom tooth removal?


When Should You Choose To Remove Your Wisdom Tooth?


In most cases, wisdom teeth are recommended to be removed when they affect the remaining teeth. This is usually when the new teeth do not have sufficient space to grow because of the existing set of teeth. However, they eventually erupt and are forced to grow at weird angles from the jaw, even horizontally. 

Some other commonly seen problems with growing wisdom teeth include:

  • Staying hidden within gum and eventually getting trapped or impacted in the jaw which causes infection or abscess that damages teeth roots and erodes bone support. 
  • Emerging partially through the gums but is harder to clean which causes bacteria to develop and results in gum disease or oral infection. 
  • Emerging completely but impacts nearby teeth by growing at an angle which causes crowding and can damage healthy teeth. 

Some experts recommend wisdom teeth removal even if the tooth hasn’t erupted fully to avoid damage in the future. Some experts suggest removing wisdom teeth at a younger age, when the teeth and jawbone are not yet fully developed. 




What Are The Signs To Remove Your Wisdom Tooth?


These are the signs that indicate you may need to have your wisdom tooth extracted:


1. Damaged Surrounding Teeth


As your permanent teeth are already in place, the growth of extra sets of molars can disrupt their growth and shift their position. This results in bite problems and overcrowding, making it difficult to brush and floss properly. This can further cause intense pain due to tooth decay and cavities. If you delay receiving treatment, you may then need to undergo additional dental procedures to straighten the affected surrounding teeth. 


2. Affected The Jaw


Abnormal molar growth first causes stiffness or pain, followed swiftly by damage to the bones. This affects the mouth’s function and motion. Just like the other teeth, the wisdom teeth also emerge from the jaw by penetrating the gum. However, this is not always the case when there is not sufficient space for new teeth to grow. Some wisdom teeth impact the jaw so much that they cause problems with your jaw alignment. 


3. Sinus Problems


The mouth and nose are closely connected. Wisdom teeth removal is recommended when the molars’ growth causes sinus pain, congestion or pressure. This is the reason it is important to know when to undergo wisdom tooth removal. 


4. Inflamed Gums


Oral health is more than just keeping your teeth clean. Gums are also an important part of your mouth and suffer significantly from growth of wisdom teeth. When a wisdom tooth grows at an angle to the jaw leading to overcrowded jaws, it can cause the gums to swell. It also makes it harder to clean the sensitive gums. You may see reddish areas along the gum which are often sore to touch. The inability to clean your teeth and gums in this condition often leads to tooth cavities and decay. 


5. Constant Pain


Pain is the most obvious sign for most patients to understand the need of wisdom tooth removal. However, this is not the only symptom that points to the need for wisdom tooth removal. Infections in the soft tissue behind the last teeth, tumours, cysts, tooth decay, gum disease and damage to surrounding healthy teeth are clear signs that you need to undergo wisdom tooth removal procedure. 


How Is Wisdom Tooth Removed?


Wisdom tooth removal is a significantly simple dental process. It involves removing the impacted teeth and restoring nearby teeth that have been affected and damaged. The dental surgeon usually uses an x-ray test to confirm the position and extent of growth of the targeted wisdom teeth. With this information, your dental surgeon will be able to suggest wisdom teeth removal depending on the shape of your mouth and health of the other teeth. Dentists recommend undergoing wisdom tooth removal at a young age, in early adulthood. At this age, the molars are healthy. With time, the jawbones become harder and it becomes more difficult to remove teeth. 

How long does wisdom tooth removal take? It depends on the position and angle of growth of the targeted wisdom tooth. Wisdom tooth removal recovery depends on individuals. Make sure to ask your dentist regarding post-procedure instructions to ensure optimal recovery from wisdom tooth removal procedure. 


When Should You Choose Not To Remove Wisdom Tooth?


Despite what you may have heard or seen, it is not always necessary to remove the wisdom teeth. Usually, the third set of molars develop during the teenage years and into younger adolescence. By this time, your baby teeth are long gone and replaced by the adult set. For the majority of people, this means that there is no space for a new tooth to grow. This is why when wisdom teeth develop, they start causing discomfort and problems. 

Still, there are situations when wisdom tooth removal is not recommended, such as when:

  • Wisdom teeth are healthy 
  • Wisdom teeth are completely grown 
  • Wisdom teeth are positioned in line with the opposing teeth without affecting your bite
  • Wisdom teeth can be easily reached with toothbrush and floss




The major signs that indicate you should choose to undergo wisdom tooth removal include damage to nearby teeth, the jaw and sinus problems. Apart from this, if you feel sensitivity and pain, with or without inflamed gums, you should immediately consult with your dentist to determine if you need to undergo wisdom tooth removal. Make sure to follow their post-treatment instructions completely to ensure optimal recovery of your mouth. 

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