Wisdom teeth are an unfortunate reality most of us have to deal with at some point; usually in our late teens or early twenties. If they do start growing in, it’s not nearly as fun as being a kid and watching your permanent teeth grow in. That’s because wisdom teeth form after permanent teeth, leaving little space in the mouth for them. That’s why your dentist keeps a close eye on them, it’s important to ensure your wisdom teeth aren’t impacting the gum tissue and bone. That causes bacteria traps to develop, promoting infections. Wisdom teeth may also lead to bone loss in the area, damaging the molars.

There is no set age for removing wisdom teeth. Instead, your dentist will watch how they are developing. Each patient is evaluated individually at their regular dental checkups. That makes it easier on the patient. It’s ideal to remove them early on, before the roots have been able to form. This results in lower complications and speeds recovery. Oral surgeons at Tooth Harmony are the most expertly trained in the Niagara region. They evaluate the stages of your wisdom teeth as well as the position they are in.

If it has been a while since your last appointment though, and you’re wondering if it’s time to have yours removed, read on; we’re exploring the top signs your wisdom teeth need to be removed.

Sometimes, the first sign that your wisdom teeth are causing problems is having difficulty eating. Many patients describe it as “slight awkwardness in your mouth”. You might find that food is getting stuck more between your teeth or under your gums. Brushing and flossing might be harder, and you’ll notice it’s not as helpful as it used to be. This discomfort while eating is a good sign that there’s movement under your gums due to the development of your wisdom teeth.

If it’s not awkwardness you’re experiencing, then you’ll probably be feeling some pain or sensitivity instead. You’ll often feel some sensitivity in the back of your mouth, especially to cold or hot drinks. A general discomfort may begin to set in that and doesn’t go away. It’s also likely that certain foods or brushing your teeth may trigger pain. Intense pain in this area will inspire your dentist to take an x-ray to confirm the presence of wisdom teeth. The x-ray will also show where they are in their formation.

When wisdom teeth begin growing, they could impact the entire surrounding area, including teeth and bone. This makes it difficult to properly brush your molars. Bacteria forms in tiny spots you can no longer reach, even with a toothbrush. Eventually cavities are inevitable.

Additionally, gums can become irritated as wisdom teeth start growing. This makes the entire mouth sensitive to brushing, increasing the likelihood of cavities as well as serious infections.

This might be surprising but, problems with your teeth or oral cavity (lips, cheeks, gums, etc) can affect your sinuses. If your upper wisdom teeth have grown roots, they can rub or push on the sinuses. Consistent excess pressure like this leads to headaches and congestion.

You may have seen some of the many online videos spotlighting patients recovering from an extraction. Keep in mind, the procedure isn’t fun by any means. It is a necessary procedure for most of us though, so keeping an eye out for these signs is very important. If you’re concerned about your wisdom teeth, make an appointment, the sooner the better.