The decision on whether to extract or keep wisdom teeth is not always an easy one. On the one hand, these teeth tend to create problems for many people; on the other hand, you may not want to undergo a dental procedure if you aren't sick. However, there are situations where the benefits of removing wisdom teeth far outweigh the discomfort of removing them. For example, you should have the teeth extracted if:

They Are Impacted

Sometimes, a tooth gets blocked as it tries to push its way through the mouth. When that happens, the tooth is said to be impacted. Wisdom teeth are more likely to be impacted because they are far back in the mouth and have to come up through a constrained space. Impacted wisdom teeth may experience several complications such as:

  • Pressure and damage to adjacent teeth
  • Increased risk of decay because they are difficult to clean
  • A cyst, which occurs when the impacted tooth develops a fluid-filled sac below the gum line

They Have Erupted In an Angular Way

Sometimes wisdom teeth may not be impacted, but they may erupt at an angle. Such a tooth should also be removed because it may:

  • Press against the adjacent ones
  • Close the gap between it and the next tooth and make the area difficult to clean
  • Make it difficult to chew food

You Have a Small Jaw

Some people have small jaws. The problem may be congenital or develop due to a health condition. An example is micrognathia, which you may be born with or acquire later in life.

If you are one of those people, then your jaw may already be full before your wisdom teeth erupt. In that case, your wisdom teeth may not have adequate room in which to erupt, and this may affect other teeth.

You Have a Dental Condition

If you already have a dental problem, then you shouldn't complicate your oral health further by keeping your wisdom teeth. These teeth are difficult to clean because they are set so far back in the mouth. Therefore, if you have something like gum disease, then there is a chance that the bacteria may infect the wisdom teeth. In this case, extracting them is a precaution for preventing further dental conditions.

The actual extraction doesn't take long, but you should have a consultation with your dentist first. The dentist will evaluate your overall health, medication and anesthesia options, among other issues. Take this opportunity to voice any concerns you may have so that your surgery can progress with ease. Contact a dentist like Family Dental Office for more information.