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DO I NEED TO HAVE MY WISDOM TEETH REMOVED?

People often ask if or why their wisdom teeth need to be removed, and even why they have wisdom teeth in the first place. Without going into the theories about why our jaws often don’t have the room required to accommodate wisdom teeth, the problem is generally that there is often insufficient space on the jaws to keep them.

If there is enough space, the teeth come in straight, and the individual is able to and does actually clean them, then there shouldn’t be a problem keeping them. However, if they are impacted (trapped below the gums or bone) or angled in such a way that they are not cleansable, then they should be removed.

In some instances, impacted teeth which are completely encased in bone may be left in place and monitored over time. Risks associated with these teeth can include cyst or tumor formation, but it is not common. If the teeth are in a position below the gums where bacteria can get to them but you cannot access them to clean, then they can contribute to bone loss, tooth loss, pain and swelling; this process often progresses without symptoms until the point where significant damage is done.

Generally speaking, if the wisdom teeth can be removed around the ages of 16-22 years old, one can avoid structural damage and stands the best chance of healing without problems.