How To Know When To Get Wisdom Teeth Removed

Growing mouths go through many changes in life, including multiple sets of teeth. Baby teeth erupt and fall out, adult teeth come in, and at some point wisdom teeth may make an appearance.

Usually during the late teen years, a set of “third molars”, or “wisdom teeth” begin to arrive. If they are able to erupt correctly and not interfere with your other teeth, they can be beneficial in helping your child chew food. If they complain of any discomfort or pain, however, a visit to the dentist is in order.

Teen boy in blue holds jaw in pain. Blue wall in background.

How Wisdom Teeth Can Cause Dental Problems

It’s not uncommon for people to have impacted wisdom teeth, meaning they are trapped beneath the gum line, remaining completely hidden. This typically happens when there isn’t enough room in the mouth for the third molars to erupt correctly.

As these third molars begin to come in, there are certain things your child’s dentist will be watching for. This includes wisdom teeth coming in irregularly, other teeth becoming crowded or shifting out of alignment, and sores or cysts from impaction.

Common Signs Wisdom Teeth Need To Be Removed

Everyone experiences different symptoms but in general these are some signs to watch for as third molars come in and wisdom teeth grow. Make sure when your child brushes, they take note of any issues and let you know immediately.

  • Cysts or fluid filled sores along gum tissue
  • Damage to nearby teeth
  • Gum disease
  • Infection in gums or near other teeth
  • Pain in teeth or jaw
  • Shifting teeth

If your child notices any of these signs, schedule an appointment with your pediatric dentist. They will likely need to have X-rays taken so the dentist can see what exactly is going on under the gums. The dentist will share the findings with you and discuss if wisdom tooth removal is necessary, or if other options may be available. Together you can come up with a plan to keep your child’s teeth and mouth healthy.

Keeping Wisdom Teeth

It is possible for your child to keep their third molars – not everyone needs to have them removed. It’s important to be aware that problems may arise later in life as your child’s mouth and teeth age and shift, which might cause wisdom teeth to need extraction.

Keeping up with regular dental exams and cleanings will aid in preventing serious issues, as X-rays will show how teeth change over the years. If you have any questions or concerns about your child’s wisdom teeth coming in at a later time or issues occurring now, please don’t hesitate to reach out to Kids Dental Specialists.

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