Wisdom Teeth Woes
Thursday April 2, 1998
Dear Dr. Mady: I am a 27-year-old college student having pain off and on where my wisdom teeth are located for the past four months. Do you feel that it is really necessary for wisdom teeth to be taken out? -Josephine in South Windsor
Not everyone needs to have their wisdom, teeth (third molars) extracted. These teeth can be a valuable asset when they are properly positioned and healthy.
However, too often problems do occur, resulting in a need for removal. If your jaws are not large enough to accommodate wisdom teeth, they can become impacted (unable to come in), can grow in sideways or remain trapped partially or fully underneath the gum or bone. Extraction of wisdom teeth is generally indicated when:
- Crowding or crookedness of your other teeth occurs.
- There is a chance adjacent teeth or the ones in front of them will be damaged.
- Wisdom teeth only partially erupt, leading to infection (pericornitis) from bacteria entering around the tooth.
- A cyst (fluid filled sac) forms that can damage surrounding bones or tooth roots.
If you are even slightly concerned about this area of your health, consult with the dentist who may recommend removal or send you to an oral surgeon who specializes in this area, for further evaluation.
This column is reprinted with the permission of the author and The Windsor Star. "Ask the Dentist" is written by Windsor dentist (and ECDS member), Dr. David Mady Jr.. The column appears the first Thursday of each month in the Windsor Star. Readers with questions can write to "Ask The Dentist", c/o The Windsor Star, 167 Ferry St., Windsor Ontario, N9A 4M5