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Your dentist says you need to have your wisdom teeth taken out. But they don’t bother you, so why remove them?

Preventive Efforts

Just because your wisdom teeth aren’t a source of pain doesn’t mean they don’t need to be removed. The teeth could be stuck or impacted. That means they are unable to break through your jaw and into your mouth. Maybe your mouth is too small to make room for them, or the teeth could be growing at an angle to other teeth.

Some dentists take out healthy molars to prevent complications later on. As you age, the bones in your mouth get harder. That makes your teeth more difficult to remove.

When Is Removal Needed?

When wisdom teeth cause problems, or X-rays show they may down the line, they need to come out. Other good reasons to take them out include:

  • Damage to other teeth: That extra set of molars can push your other teeth around, causing mouth pain and bite problems.
  • Jaw damage: Cysts can form around the new teeth. If they aren’t treated, they can hollow out your jaw and damage nerves.
  • Sinus Issues: Problems with wisdom teeth can lead to sinus pain, pressure, and congestion.
  • Inflamed Gums: Tissue around the area can swell and may be hard to clean.
  • Cavities: Swollen gums can create pockets between teeth that help bacteria grow and cavities form.
  • Alignment: Impacted wisdom teeth can cause problems with crowding of other teeth and even make treatment to straighten other teeth necessary.

Your dentist will look at the shape of your mouth and the position of your teeth to make a decision. Your age plays a role, too.

Still not ready to part with your molars? You can ask your dentist to explain what he sees with your teeth. In many cases, you can wait several months to see if things change before making your decision. But if you have pain or notice swelling or a bad odour near your back teeth, it may be time for a second look.

Medical Reference Reviewed by Michael Friedman, DDS on March 17, 2019




Friedman, J.W. American Journal of Public Health, September 2007.

Emory Healthcare: “Wisdom Teeth: FAQ.”

American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons:Wisdom Teeth Management.”

Consumer Guide to Dentistry: “Wisdom Teeth Challenges vs. Advantages.”

Sonya Taylor Acree,DMD, Albany, GA.