When to Extract Wisdom Teeth

gresham family dentistry

Wisdom teeth, or third molars, often emerge during late adolescence or early adulthood. In an ideal world, they’d pop out straight and healthy, and we’d move on with our lives.

However, it’s usually not quite that simple. That’s why about 10 million wisdom teeth are removed each year in the US.


Signs You May Need Your Wisdom Teeth Removed

The four wisdom teeth are the last set of teeth to develop and can lead to dental complications if not monitored closely. At our Gresham family dentistry, we use regular check-ups to assess the growth and impact of these teeth.

Not everyone needs their wisdom teeth removed, but there are several key factors we consider to prevent potential issues.

Impacted teeth: This is the most common reason to remove teeth. Often, there isn’t enough room in the jaw for wisdom teeth to erupt neatly behind the last molar. Wisdom teeth that don’t fully emerge or come in at an angle can be impacted, leading to pain, infection and damage to nearby teeth.

Pain and discomfort: One of the most obvious signs that you may need your wisdom teeth pulled is pain in the back of your mouth that progresses over time. This discomfort can be due to the teeth growing in at an angle, causing pressure on other teeth or because of the development of cysts.

Gum inflammation: Swollen, red gums around the wisdom teeth area can be a sign of infection or irritation caused by wisdom teeth struggling to break through the gum line. If it keeps happening, the wisdom teeth need to be removed.

Crowding or misalignment: Our dental office in Gresham, OR, often sees cases where wisdom teeth cause crowding, leading to misalignment of other teeth. This is a particular concern for patients who have had orthodontic treatment.

Infection or cavities: Problems with the tooth itself can mean it’s time to come out. A partially erupted tooth can lead to bigger problems as bacteria reaches the gums, or if it’s tricky to clean properly. Widespread tooth decay might also call for removal of wisdom teeth.

If your wisdom teeth come in straight and healthy, in the right place, with plenty of space to clean them — congratulations! You might not have to deal with removal at all. But some people still choose to have wisdom teeth removed when they’re young to stave off possible problems later.

Younger people have faster recovery times, in part because roots aren’t as fully formed and their jawbones are less dense.


Schedule a Consultation Today

If you or a family member are experiencing discomfort, or if you have questions about wisdom teeth, schedule a consultation at our family dental office in Gresham. Our team will assess your situation, provide expert recommendations and guide you through the process with care and professionalism.

Promptly addressing wisdom teeth concerns can prevent more serious issues. Trust Jeremy Archibald, DDS, to provide you with the highest standard of care in a warm and welcoming environment. Make an appointment today to take the next step in your dental health journey.