Medical questions & health advice by licensed doctors
"How do I know if I need a wisdom tooth extraction?"
My teeth feel really tight and painful, maybe due to my wisdom teeth. I haven't had them looked at for a while.
Wisdom teeth, as you probably know, are teeth that grow into the back of the mouth, usually in adolescence or in young adulthood. Wisdom teeth can cause a number of problems for the people who have them. Often these problems are related to the fact that there is not always enough room in the back of the mouth for the teeth to come in properly; however, even if the teeth do come in properly, they can be very difficult to keep clean and therefore are a common source of gum infections in the mouth. At the same time, however, there are many other causes of having tight, painful teeth. Depending on where the pain is, it may not be related to your wisdom teeth at all, but could instead be the result of cavities, gum infections, and other problems elsewhere in the mouth. There is no way really to tell what is going on with out having your mouth and teeth checked out by your dentist. It is a good idea to see your dentist regularly anyway, but now that you are having pain and other symptoms, I especially highly recommend that you make an appointment as soon as possible.
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