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When Wisdom Teeth Should Be Removed

woman with jaw or tooth pain

The removal of wisdom teeth, also known as third molars, is a common dental procedure. Wisdom teeth typically emerge in late adolescence or early adulthood, and whether or not they need to be removed varies from person to person. Several factors play a role in determining when wisdom teeth should be removed, from oral health risks to aesthetic concerns. Here are some of the considerations when determining whether these third molars should be removed.


Wisdom teeth are often removed due to impaction. Impacted wisdom teeth do not have enough room to emerge properly, causing them to become trapped beneath the gumline or to grow at odd angles. This can lead to various problems, including pain, infection, and damage to neighboring teeth.

Pain and Discomfort

One of the most common reasons for wisdom teeth removal is pain and discomfort. When wisdom teeth start to emerge and push against neighboring teeth, they can cause a significant amount of pain. This discomfort can extend to the jaw, head, and neck, and may be accompanied by headaches.

Infection and Gum Disease

Wisdom teeth that partially emerge can create a flap of gum tissue that can trap food particles and bacteria, leading to infection and gum disease. Infection around wisdom teeth is often associated with pain, swelling, and an unpleasant taste or odor. Wisdom teeth are also harder to keep free from plaque and tartar, which can result in a higher risk for decay and periodontal disease.

Damage to Adjacent Teeth

Wisdom teeth can exert pressure on adjacent molars, potentially causing misalignment or damage to these teeth. This can lead to bite problems and the need for orthodontic treatment to correct the issues caused by wisdom teeth. Wisdom teeth can create crowding or misalignment in the dental arch, making them incompatible with orthodontic treatment. In such cases, removing the wisdom teeth may be necessary to achieve optimal orthodontic results.

Preventative Removal

In some cases, dentists recommend the removal of wisdom teeth even before they cause problems. This preventative approach is based on the idea that removal at an earlier age can prevent future complications. Some patients may opt for this option, particularly if there is a high risk of complications based on the angle or positioning of the wisdom teeth.


Wisdom teeth typically start to emerge in late adolescence or early adulthood. Removal is often recommended during this age range because the roots of the teeth are not fully formed, and the surgery is generally easier and less risky. Waiting until a later age can make the procedure more complex and the recovery process longer.

Individual Variation

Not everyone will experience problems with their wisdom teeth. Some individuals have sufficient space in their jaw to accommodate these additional molars without issues. Regular dental check-ups and X-rays can help dentists monitor the development of wisdom teeth and recommend removal if problems are anticipated.

Our dentists at Gwinnett Family Dental Care can evaluate the positioning, growth, and potential impact of your wisdom teeth and provide personalized recommendations regarding their removal. If you are experiencing any issues or discomfort related to your wisdom teeth, early intervention can help prevent complications and maintain your oral health. Contact our dental team to schedule a wisdom teeth exam to discuss your options – call our dental center in Lawrenceville, GA, to schedule your appointment.

Posted on behalf of Gwinnett Family Dental Care

3455 Lawrenceville Highway
Lawrenceville, GA 30044

Phone: (770) 921-1115

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