Skip to content

Should Wisdom Teeth Be Removed?

Wisdom teeth, also known as third molars, are the last teeth to grow in.

While some people never experience problems with their wisdom teeth, others may suffer pain, infection and other dental complications unless they are extracted.

Our Montreal dentist explains when and why it might be time to have your wisdom teeth removed.

Why do we have wisdom teeth and what are they for?

Wisdom teeth are the last teeth to grow in, usually between age 17 and 25. They are called ‘wisdom teeth’ because they grow in so much later than other teeth, at a time of life when a person is becoming more ‘wise’ and ‘rational’.

Originally, wisdom teeth were helpful for chewing (mastication), especially:

  • for chewing raw meat
  • for chewing tough vegetables
  • to replace (eventually) the molars, which would wear out quickly.

However, as humans evolved, our jaws shrank and our diet changed, reducing the need for chewing. As a result, wisdom teeth are often placed incorrectly and require extraction to avoid potential health problems including pain, infection, cysts or cavities.

Although these teeth are no longer needed for chewing, they do help maintain the balance and shape of the jaw.

Why remove wisdom teeth?

Wisdom teeth that do not present any problems and have enough space to grow in properly usually do not require extraction. These are referred to as “asymptomatic” wisdom teeth.

However, wisdom teeth that cause pain, infection or damage to other teeth will need to be extracted.

There are several situations in which wisdom teeth may need to be removed.

1. Gum infections

One of the most common complications associated with wisdom teeth is gum infection. Semi-included wisdom teeth can lead to the development of gum disease causing pain and inflammation.

Since wisdom teeth are difficult to take care of properly, bacterial infiltration is quite common. This can cause infection or inflammation of the gum tissue, manifesting as pericoronitis, pulpitis, periodontitis or gingivitis. A dental abscess from an untreated cavity can also cause gum infection.

2. Cavities

Since wisdom teeth are located at the back of the mouth, they are difficult to brush. Bacteria and food residue often become lodged between the teeth and gums. A rigorous oral hygiene routine may not be enough to prevent tooth decay, especially for partially impacted wisdom teeth.

In these cases, it is best to extract healthy wisdom teeth to avoid complications, especially as cavities on wisdom teeth are more difficult to treat and may recur. Your dentist may recommend extracting one or more wisdom teeth to maintain your oral health and avoid having to treat cavities in the future.

3. Dental cysts

When a wisdom tooth is in the wrong position, it can put pressure on surrounding teeth, causing them to move and creating pain. This can also lead to the formation of cysts around the wisdom tooth, damaging surrounding tissue and bone.

Wisdom teeth form in a sac inside the jawbone. In some cases, the wisdom tooth gets caught in this sac and fails to break through the jawbone. This can cause the envelope to expand, which in turn can lead to the formation of cysts, lesions or sometimes even a benign tumor.

Wisdom tooth removal may be necessary in this situation to avoid further damage to the bone and tissues of the jaw.

4. Orthodontic treatment

dental extraction may also be appropriate if the wisdom tooth does not have an antagonist, or opposite tooth to bite down with, on the opposite jaw. This poses a problem because a wisdom tooth will continue to grow until it is supported. Removing the tooth will restore occlusal stability.

This is why dentists often extract both wisdom teeth on the same side, even if only one of them is causing problems.

Removing wisdom teeth: procedure and recovery

Wisdom tooth extraction is common and generally safe. However, it can seem daunting if you don’t know what to expect. The extraction process varies depending on the position of the tooth and the complexity of the situation. Wisdom tooth extraction involves 3 main steps:

  • Preparation: Prior to the extraction of wisdom teeth, your dentist will perform a complete examination including a 3D dental x-ray to determine the position of the teeth and the complexity of the extraction. It is important to mention any medications and health conditions at this point. The dentist will also give you instructions for preparing your mouth before the procedure, such as not eating or drinking for a certain period.
  • The Procedure: In most cases, the procedure begins with the administration of a local anesthetic to numb the area. If the tooth is embedded deep in the jaw, a general anesthetic may be required. Once the area is numbed, the dentist will use their instruments to dislodge the tooth from the jaw. In some cases, the tooth may have to be cut into several pieces to make extraction possible.
  • Recovery: After extraction, pain and swelling are common. Your dentist will tell you how to take care of your mouth and relieve the pain. It is important to follow all instructions related to what to do and what to eat after having your wisdom teeth removed to avoid any potential complications, such as infection or prolonged discomfort.

Remove your wisdom teeth and improve your oral health

There are many reasons for removing wisdom teeth, as they can often cause oral health problems. It is always better to prevent than to heal, which is why your dentist may recommend removing your wisdom teeth before any damage is done.

If you think you may need to have your wisdom teeth removed, visit Clinique Dentaire 1935! Our experienced professionals are here to guide and support you throughout the extraction process – from preparation to recovery – for a pleasant and stress-free experience.

Contact us today to schedule your consultation and take the next step toward a healthier, happier mouth!

Recommended Posts

Complete Guide to Dental Inlays

Is one of your teeth damaged due to a cavity or fracture? Do you have an old filling that needs to be replaced? Or does
Read more

Dry Mouth: Causes, Symptoms and Treatment

We have all experienced the unpleasant sensation of a dry mouth and bad breath when we wake up. Sometimes, the problem can be solved quickly
Read more

Oral Cancer: Symptoms and Detection

Oral health is like a mirror that reflects your general state of health, but it is often neglected until serious problems develop. Oral cancer, or
Read more

When to Schedule Your Child’s First Visit to the Dentist

Oral health is important to a growing child’s overall well-being. However, new parents can be overwhelmed trying to understand their baby’s dental development and how
Read more

Infant Oral Health Care

The oral health of your infant will impact how their primary teeth develop and their overall oral health as they grow up. To help new
Read more

Common Dental Diseases

Oral health is an essential aspect of general well-being that people often underestimate until they develop a serious and painful dental problem. There are various
Read more

How to Treat Mouth Ulcers

Mouth ulcers, also called canker sores, are small, painful lesions in the mouth that can turn everyday activities like eating and talking into a real
Read more

Restorative Dentistry: Everything You Need to Know

Restorative dentistry encompasses procedures designed to restore both oral function and the appearance of your smile. Whether you suffer from issues related to natural wear,
Read more

What is Oral Surgery?

Have you ever wondered what is going on behind the doors of a dental surgery clinic? If you’re not sure what to expect, and you’re
Read more

What are Dental Bone Grafts?

It is important to maintain good oral health, as it has an impact on overall well-being. In some cases, dental problems need surgical treatment, such
Read more

Infected Tooth: Root Canal or Extraction?

An infected or abscessed tooth that is left untreated can lead to serious oral health issues. Without treatment, the infection can spread to the alveolar
Read more

How to Relieve Pain After a Root Canal

After undergoing a root canal, many people dread the prospect of experiencing intense pain. However, the pain after a root canal treatment can be effectively
Read more

Receding Gums: What Causes Them and How to Treat Them

Receding gums are a common dental problem. While some oral pathologies appear suddenly, receding gums are not immediately recognizable or perceptible. Do you think you
Read more

How to Remove Dental Plaque

Plaque and tartar pose a constant threat to your teeth! Unfortunately, many people don’t know how to recognize these two formidable enemies. And yet, to
Read more

How Long Do Veneers Last?

Dental veneers are thin, custom-made shells used in cosmetic dentistry to improve the appearance of teeth. They’ve become a popular solution for hiding damaged teeth,
Read more

Dental implants : what benefits ?

Having a brilliant smile and healthy teeth is a valuable asset to our confidence and well-being. However, tooth loss can affect our self-esteem and quality
Read more

Everything You Need to Know About Dental Emergencies

Do you have pain that causes you to lose sleep? Are you suffering from sudden swelling, unexplained bleeding or discomfort that interferes with your daily
Read more

Sensitive Teeth: What You Need to Know

Have you ever felt sudden sharp pain or discomfort in your teeth? If so, you are not alone. Tooth sensitivity can affect anyone, at any
Read more

What is pulpitis ?

Tooth pain is one of the most disturbing and debilitating symptoms anyone can experience. If it is caused by pulpitis, the discomfort can be extreme
Read more

Everything you need to know about tooth decay

Tooth decay is one of the most common dental problems in the word, affecting millions of people every year. Dental cavities can cause serious pain
Read more

What are 3D Dental X-Rays and How Can They Help?

3D X-ray is a type of advanced medical imaging technology that provides a three-dimensional view of the human body or specific parts of it. It
Read more

The Different Types of Dental Prosthetics

Regardless of your age, you may end up needing dental prosthetics at some point in your life. In addition to old age, there are also
Read more

How Do You Relieve Your Baby During Teething?

Is your baby having crying fits or seemingly unexplained pain? Don’t worry just yet, they may be teething. To help your little one through the
Read more

How to correct misaligned teeth

Misaligned teeth can lead to complications in a person’s oral health. Fortunately, there are several treatments available to correct this problem. Would you like to
Read more

Dental Crown: Best Tooth Crown Materials and Cost

A dental crown is an artificial tooth used to protect a tooth that has become decayed. It is also very important to solidify a tooth
Read more

Dental Fluorosis : Causes, Symptoms and Treatments

One of the most common dental problems in North America is discoloration and mottling of the teeth due to chronic ingestion of excess fluoride. This
Read more

How to Get Whiter Teeth in 8 Tips

Who hasn’t dreamed of having a bright smile, worthy of the greatest Hollywood stars? Teeth whitening products, professional treatments or home methods, different solutions exist
Read more

How to Relieve Pain Caused by Growing Wisdom Teeth

Nature has endowed humans with wisdom teeth despite the fact that many of our mouths lack the space for them to develop properly. Wisdom teeth,
Read more

Why Use an Occlusal Splint to Protect Your Teeth?

An occlusal splint, or night guard, is a temporary dental appliance that helps distribute bite force evenly across the chewing surface. It is used to
Read more

What to Eat After Wisdom Teeth Removal

Wisdom teeth removal is a procedure that can make a major difference for a patient’s oral health. However, it can be an uncomfortable experience, particularly
Read more

Bruxism: Teeth Grinding Causes, Symptoms and Treatment

Do you ever wake up with jaw pain, facial tension or headaches? These symptoms may be a sign that you grind or clench your teeth
Read more

What to do if you chip or break a tooth

Dental health is very important to overall well-being. However, a common problem that can occur in both youth and adults are broken teeth caused by
Read more

Gingivitis Prevention and Treatment

Have you ever heard of dental plaque? Plaque is a thin, sticky film that accumulates naturally on our teeth. The film contains bacteria that can
Read more

Tooth abscess: what are the symptoms and treatment?

Tooth abscess or dental abscess is an infection of the mouth that causes intense stabbing pain, sometimes accompanied by a high fever that is impossible
Read more

How to soothe toothache pain: 5 tips from our dentists

Many factors can cause a toothache. Cavities, defective fillings, broken teeth… All these incidents are common and can happen at any time of the day.
Read more

What foods are good for oral health?

A balanced and varied diet reduces the risk of developing tooth decay, gum disease and other pathologies that can affect your teeth and mouth. That’s
Read more

How to choose your toothpaste

There is an abundance of toothpaste nowadays, with different tastes and various purposes depending on your needs. The Canadian Dental Association recommends using less toothpaste.
Read more

What are the consequences of smoking on teeth?

We all know the serious health consequences of smoking, especially for the heart and lungs. However, we sometimes forget that the teeth and mouth of
Read more

What should you know about losing baby teeth?

Although baby teeth usually appear at six months of age, they begin to fall out around 5-6 years of age. This age may vary from
Read more

What is Orthodontics?

Orthodontics is a dentistry specialty that improves dental appearance and function. It can be used to help people who suffer from aesthetic imperfections, poor dental
Read more

How Often Should You Schedule a Visit to the Dentist?

Regular visits to the dentist are essential to maintaining your oral health. These checkups and cleanings are the best way to prevent dental issues and
Read more

What to eat after teeth whitening

Professional teeth whitening is the best way to make your teeth whiter. However, in the days following this treatment, tooth enamel becomes more porous and
Read more

How to choose the best toothbrush

Choosing a good toothbrush is essential to maintain good oral hygiene. However, the selection of toothbrushes available on the market is so vast that it
Read more

How to clean fixed or removable implant supported dentures

Have you just received new implant-supported dentures? Good news! Dentures provide many benefits to those who wear them. But did you know that dentures can
Read more

Sensitive teeth: which foods should you avoid?

Teeth sensitivity affects around 60% of Canadians. This condition can cause a lot of pain and discomfort for those affected. However, there are ways to
Read more

What instructions should be followed after a dental surgery?

Dental surgery is not always pleasant, but it is always essential for a better quality of life! Naturally, there are a few things you can
Read more

Why do children grind their teeth?

Teeth grinding occurs when the child unconsciously contracts the elevating muscles of the mandible for a prolonged period of time, causing the teeth of the
Read more

Dental cavities: what are the symptoms and how are they treated?

Dental cavities are a fairly common oral pathology. They affect a very large part of the population. Fortunately, they are now fairly easy to detect
Read more