Reviewed by Dr. Thao Le, DDS, MD

Why Wisdom Teeth May Need to Be Removed

There are several reasons why oral surgeons might recommend a wisdom teeth extraction. These include:

  • Impacted wisdom teeth: If a wisdom tooth does not fully emerge and remains below the gum line or doesn’t emerge at all, it is considered impacted. An impacted wisdom tooth can cause pain, damage nearby teeth, and lead to infection in the soft tissue.
  • Tooth decay: Wisdom teeth are located at the back of the mouth, making them difficult to clean. This can lead to tooth decay or gum disease that could spread to adjacent teeth.
  • Wrong angle: If wisdom teeth emerge at the wrong angle, they can push against other teeth, causing discomfort, alignment issues, and potential damage to adjacent teeth.
  • Jaw pain, tumors and cysts: Impacted wisdom teeth can lead to jaw pain and the formation of cysts and tumors, causing damage to the jaw bone and other teeth.

Common Myths

  • Everyone needs their wisdom teeth removed: While wisdom teeth extraction is a common dental procedure, not everyone will require it. Some individuals go through their entire lives without any issues related to their wisdom teeth. The biggest factor determining if wisdom teeth need to be removed is the size of the jaw, the amount of space for the teeth to emerge and if the patient can keep them clean and healthy.
  • Everyone has wisdom teeth: This is not true, as some people are born without wisdom teeth. Additionally, some individuals may only have one or two wisdom teeth instead of the usual four. However, some people can be born with extra wisdom teeth (as many as 10).
  • Wisdom tooth removal is risky:  While any dental procedure comes with some risks, wisdom tooth extraction is a routine and safe procedure when performed by an experienced oral surgeon. For more information, read Which is Better: Wisdom Tooth Extraction by a Dentist or Oral Surgeon?
  • The older you are, the more difficult wisdom tooth removal will be: While it is true that wisdom teeth may be harder to remove as a person gets older, it doesn’t mean that age alone makes the procedure more complicated. Factors such as the position and condition of the teeth play a bigger role in determining the complexity of extraction.

Quiz: Do I Need My Wisdom Teeth Removed?

To help you determine if you may need a wisdom teeth extraction, take this quiz:

  1. Are you experiencing pain or discomfort in the back area of your mouth?
  2. Do you have a history of frequent infections or cysts around your wisdom teeth?
  3. Have you noticed any changes in your bite alignment due to the presence of wisdom teeth?
  4. Are you having trouble maintaining oral hygiene near your wisdom teeth?
  5. Has your dentist ever informed you that you have wisdom teeth, and have they been evaluated with an x-ray?

If you answered ‘yes’ to any of these questions, it’s possible that you may need your wisdom teeth removed. However, it is essential to consult with an oral surgeon to discuss your symptoms and dental history in detail. They will assess your individual situation and recommend the appropriate course of action.

Foley & Le-Oral Surgeons in Boulder, CO

If you are experiencing discomfort related to your wisdom teeth, consult with the experts at Foley & Le.  Our team of experienced oral surgeons can assess your situation and provide personalized treatment options. We understand that every patient is unique and will work with you to find the best solution for your dental needs. 

Why choose Foley & Le Oral & Maxillofacial Surgeons?

“Dr. Le is a wonderful dental surgeon who is very competent in her skills and also brings the human touch to dental care. She is kind, compassionate and genuinely interested in her patients. She always follows up to make sure you are recovering well. I highly recommend Dr. Le for anyone needing dental surgery, 5 stars.”

“Dr. Foley is undoubtedly an expert in his specialty. He is also very considerate. He always made me feel like he cares about my well-being as a person, and he does not stop at just how the tooth is doing. He is a true doctor. His staff is also knowledgeable, very nice, helpful, and responsive. They are also considerate of the patient’s time. More than highly recommend them.”

If you are searching for the ‘best wisdom teeth removal near me’ or ‘wisdom teeth extraction near me’, call (303) 444-2255 to book an appointment or complete the online booking form.

FAQs About Wisdom Teeth Removal

Is dry socket common after wisdom tooth removal?

Dry socket is a possible complication after wisdom tooth removal, but it is not common. It occurs when the blood clot that forms in the extraction site becomes dislodged or dissolves, exposing the underlying bone and nerves. This can be painful and may require additional treatment from your oral surgeon.

How can you prevent dry socket after wisdom tooth removal?

To prevent dry socket, it is important to follow the post-operative instructions provided by your oral surgeon. Post-operative instructions will include the following:
– Avoid drinking through a straw or smoking, as the suction can dislodge the blood clot.
– Stick to soft foods and avoid chewing on the extraction site.
– Keep your mouth clean by rinsing with saltwater as prescribed.

How swollen will my face be after wisdom tooth extraction?

Swelling is normal after a wisdom tooth extraction and can last for several days. The amount of swelling varies from person to person, but you can expect it to peak around 48 hours post-surgery. Applying an ice pack to your face immediately after surgery will minimize the swelling. During the first 48 hours, continue with ice packs 20 minutes on, 20 minutes off.

Is sedation necessary for wisdom teeth removal?

While sedation is not always necessary for wisdom teeth removal, it can help patients with dental anxiety or those undergoing more complex extractions. Your oral surgeon will discuss your options and determine the best approach for you based on your individual needs.

How long does it take to recover from wisdom tooth extraction?

Recovery time varies per person, but most individuals can resume their normal activities within a week. It usually takes 2 weeks for the post-operative discomfort to fully resolve. Following your post-operative instructions will ensure a swift recovery.

Additional Resources

Discover the Benefits of Wisdom Tooth Removal

3 Signs Your Wisdom Teeth Might Be Impacted

Dealing with a Bone Spicule After Tooth Extraction

Skip to content