Do You Always Need A Wisdom Tooth Extraction?

If your wisdom teeth aren't bothering you yet, you might be compelled to wait it out. But even though you don't always need a wisdom tooth extraction, you should still consider it. There are a few reasons why a wisdom tooth extraction is generally a good idea.

You May Not Have Wisdom Teeth 

First: if you haven't seen any wisdom teeth come in, it's possible you don't have them. A dentist will be able to complete an x-ray, which will indicate whether they're coming in. Not everyone has wisdom teeth, and not everyone has all four wisdom teeth. It's possible that only one will come in, or that none of them will. 

Wisdom Teeth Cause Other Teeth to Shift

Even if your wisdom teeth aren't causing you pain, they're likely to crowd your other teeth. Over time, your teeth are going to shift, and you will find them growing crooked. Getting your wisdom teeth removed can avoid this. 

When your teeth become crowded, cavities are more likely. Food particles can get stuck in between teeth, and they will accumulate bacteria over time. This bacteria is what causes plaque and cavities.

A Wisdom Tooth Can Fracture

Before wisdom teeth emerge, they can fracture. If they grow in sideways, or they crowd other teeth, they can crack open. Once this happens, it'll be very painful, and an infection may occur. With many tooth-related problems, it can seem just fine until it becomes painful. 

Infection isn't just painful, it's also dangerous. If unchecked, an infection can cause damage to the surrounding bone, eroding it and spreading across it. Infections can even become life threatening with time.

Extractions Are Easier Early On

Extractions are easy to perform when the teeth are still growing and small, as they haven't grown root yet. Once they grow thicker roots, they're more difficult to extract. If you want an easier recovery process, you want to extract your teeth after they've emerged but before they've grown fully.

Wisdom teeth can still be extracted before they emerge, but it requires a slightly more complicated surgical process, as your dentist will need to cut into the surrounding gum tissue to remove them.

Wisdom teeth can be very unpredictable depending on how they come in. It's best to talk to your dentist about it. Once you hit your early twenties, they're likely to start coming in, whether you've made a plan or not.