Wisdom Teeth – When Should They Be Removed?


The wisdom teeth (molars) typically erupt between age 17 and 25, and this is a normal part of mouth development. For many people, the wisdom teeth can contribute to the development of oral health issues including impaction, infection and overcrowding, which is why wisdom tooth extractions are a common occurrence to reduce the risk of dental complications arising later in life. Whilst not everyone will need to have their wisdom teeth removed, it is important to be aware of the reasons for extraction. In this blog post, Central Brunswick Dental Centre will be sharing some common symptoms which may necessitate wisdom teeth extraction.


Why do some people require wisdom tooth extraction?

Whilst most people develop four wisdom teeth (two on top, two on the bottom), some people never develop them, or they may never erupt into the oral cavity. Humans today have much smaller jaws than our ancestors, and as such the presence of wisdom teeth can in some cases lead to problems. Crowding can occur due to a lack of space, causing the wisdom teeth to press against adjacent teeth which can cause teeth to become crooked/overlapping. A lack of room can also cause wisdom teeth to grow on a weird angle and become “impacted”, preventing them from fully emerging through the gum. 


Some of the most common reasons for extraction include:

  • Impacted Wisdom Teeth – wisdom teeth may grow at an angle and fail to fully emerge. This can cause swollen, tender gums, persistent jaw pain and bad breath. 
  • Lack of Space – overcrowding can cause significant pain and discomfort, as well as damage to adjacent teeth if decay develops due to food packing.
  • Persistent Pain – as the wisdom teeth are erupting, it is normal to experience some discomfort. However persistent pain should not be ignored, and you should book an appointment at Central Brunswick Dental Centre as soon as possible for an oral examination and X-ray. 
  • Infection – It is difficult to achieve a thorough brushing and flossing of the wisdom teeth due to their location, making them more prone to infection. 

An initial evaluation of wisdom teeth typically occurs before reaching 20 years of age. Your dentist will advise you on whether extraction may be necessary to alleviate pain and reduce the risk of serious dental complications. 


Symptoms of Problem Wisdom Teeth

Gum inflammation, pain and sensitivity at the rear of the mouth, bad breath, persistent pain, a stiff jaw and sinus problems (congestion, headache etc.) are some of the most common symptoms of problem wisdom teeth. 


The Wisdom Teeth Extraction Process

Wisdom teeth extraction is a straightforward process, and your dentist will perform a risk assessment and provide you with an overview of the procedure and estimated recovery times. Surgery is typically performed under local anaesthetic, which numbs the location and eliminates pain. A referral to a specialist Oral Maxillofacial Surgeon and/or General sedation are also options for more challenging cases. 

The extraction process involves your dentist/oral surgeon disconnecting the connective tissue around the wisdom teeth, before then removing the problem teeth and finally treating and applying a gauze to the extraction site. You may use over the counter pain relievers throughout the recovery period. Most patients are able to resume normal activity the following day, but you should avoid hard foods for at least 24 hours. 


Painful Wisdom Teeth? Book an Appointment Today

Dentists at Central Brunswick Dental Centre can examine your wisdom teeth and advise you on whether or not extraction is advisable. Book an appointment by calling (07) 3216 1100 today.