Wisdom tooth extraction can be necessary for various reasons. The wisdom teeth, or third molars, are the four permanent adult teeth, located in the back corners of your mouth. An extraction is usually performed by a dentist or an oral surgeon if the tooth does not have adequate room to grow normally, or if it is infected. Wisdom teeth are the last adult, permanent teeth to erupt, and they usually appear between the ages of 17 to 25. Some people, however, never get wisdom teeth.
If a wisdom tooth is impacted, or does not have enough room to grow, or erupt normally, it may become painful, due to infection. Wisdom teeth that do not have room to grow, may also grow at an angle, damaging adjacent teeth, or even stay trapped in the jawbone. If wisdom teeth become infected, they will become painful from infection, a cyst may be formed around the tooth, there may be subsequent damage to the bone, or complications may arise with orthodontics, or measures attempting to straighten other teeth.
Preventative extraction is controversial. The medical field does not agree about whether the expense and possible risks of wisdom tooth extraction, justify the expected benefits. Some of the risks of wisdom tooth extraction could be dry socket, or blood clot, exposure of bone, infection, sinus damage, nerve damage, and weakening of the lower jawbone. If x-rays show that the wisdom tooth is growing in an angle, or if there are signs of overcrowding in your teeth already, then wisdom tooth extraction should be discussed with your dentist or oral surgeon.
If you experience swelling or numbness of the face, have a persistent fever, notice a bad taste in your mouth for several days in a row, or have blood in nasal discharge, these could be signs of an infected wisdom tooth. Infected, impacted teeth are very painful, and you should consult your dentist immediately. When the problem is diagnosed, we may suggest wisdom tooth extraction, or in severe cases, you may be referred to an oral surgeon.