Having wisdom teeth does not necessarily mean they need to be removed. While these teeth seem to be synonymous with removal in our collective cultural mindset, in actuality, they can stay in place unless they’re causing problems. How do you know if they should stay or go? A good place to start is to consider whether they’re causing you pain. That’s generally the first sign of trouble.
Pain from Wisdom Teeth
Wisdom teeth can become painful for many people. This symptom shows itself for a number of reasons. First of all, these teeth can cause pain when they’re emerging, often in the teen years or early 20s, because they’re trying to force their way through your gums. This process puts pressure on your gums, teeth and even jaw bone. It's similar to when children go through a lot of pain during the teething process. Plus, the gums in that area can end up swollen and inflamed, which only makes matters worse.
Yet wisdom teeth are worse than regular teeth when they try to come in. That's because many people don’t have enough room for these teeth in their mouths because of the way humans have evolved over time. When they try to force their way into a space that’s too small for them, this can lead to pain. They can even become impacted, which means they only partially come out of the gums or fail to come through at all. They can even come out in the wrong direction.
Further, wisdom teeth can cause indirect pain by impacting other aspects of your oral health. They can damage other teeth when they’re trying to come in, causing the pain to extend beyond these teeth themselves. Also, they can cause cysts, tooth decay and gum disease, which can all include the symptom of pain.
Other Symptoms from Wisdom Teeth
Pain is not the only symptom you may encounter from your wisdom teeth trying to come in. Looking for other symptoms may give you a sign of whether your wisdom teeth are problematic. Potential symptoms of wisdom teeth problems include:
- Sensitive, red, bleeding and/or swollen gums
- Jaw swelling
- Bad taste or breath
- Trouble opening the mouth
At the same time, wisdom teeth don’t always lead to pain, even when they’re problematic. You could have no symptoms associated with impacted wisdom teeth yet still need them taken out. Plus, many dentists want to remove wisdom teeth that are not causing issues simply to keep them from leading to trouble down the line. For these reasons, it’s best to have a dentist evaluate the situation.
Get Your Wisdom Teeth Evaluated
If your wisdom teeth are causing you pain, they may become a problem for you. Yet whether or not you feel pain in your wisdom teeth, the only true way to know whether they need removal is to have a dentist evaluate them. To set up a consultation at our Germantown, MD office, contact us through our website or call us today at 301-515-2466.