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Wisdom teeth removal is a common procedure performed on teenagers and young adults. However, you may wonder why you need to have your wisdom teeth removed in the first place, especially if you aren’t currently experiencing any problems with them. Here are the reasons for why wisdom teeth are removed.

What Wisdom Teeth Are

Wisdom teeth are the last type of permanent teeth to erupt. These third molars often come between the ages of 17 and 25. You have 4 wisdom teeth and they erupt in the back of the mouth.

Impacted Wisdom Teeth

The reason wisdom teeth cause difficulty is because there is no room for them in your mouth. This means that wisdom teeth often don’t erupt fully, making them impacted. Impacted wisdom teeth are partially or fully trapped between the gum tissue and the jawbone. Either way, impacted wisdom teeth can result in several problems such as:

  • Tooth Decay/Gum Disease: Impacted wisdom teeth are difficult to clean and easily trap food and bacteria. This can lead to infection, pain, and later tooth decay and gum disease.
  • Damage to Other Teeth: Often wisdom teeth don’t come in straight because there is no room for them. This can result in damage to nearby teeth or even crowding to all of your teeth.
  • Cysts/Tumors: Sometimes impacted wisdom teeth can cause a cyst to develop in the jawbone. This fluid-filled sac damages teeth, the jawbone, or nearby nerves. In some cases, a tumor can develop.

Symptoms of Wisdom Teeth Problems

In some cases the jaw is large enough for wisdom teeth to come in and develop without any issue. However, this case is rare. Even if you aren’t currently experiencing any difficulties with your wisdom teeth, speak with your dentist about whether they need removal. Also keep an eye out for any symptoms of problems such as:

  • Red/swollen gums
  • Jaw pain/swelling
  • Tender/bleeding gums
  • Bad breath/unpleasant taste in your mouth
  • Difficulty opening your mouth