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When is a Wisdom Tooth Removal Necessary?

Written by
Dr. Senthil Kumar
and medically reviewed by iCliniq medical review team.

Published on Jun 22, 2015 and last reviewed on Sep 07, 2019   -  2 min read



Some conditions require you to get your wisdom tooth extracted. This article discusses all the possible causes that make wisdom tooth extraction necessary.

When is a Wisdom Tooth Removal Necessary?

What is Wisdom Tooth?

Wisdom teeth are the third/last molar teeth that erupts in oral cavity at or after the age of 18 years.There will be 4 wisdom teeth generally one each on all 4 dental corners.


  • Because wisdom teeth are the last teeth to erupt in our mouth, they do not find enough space to erupt.
  • So, they may be positioned in angular manner or horizontal position or submerged with respect to the adjacent front teeth.
  • This kind of a situation where a teeth is unable to erupt out properly because of the hindrance by other teeth is called impaction.
  • Why does an impaction occur? This occurs more often in our generations because of the lesser workload given to our jaws. We have shifted our food habits to eating more of softer foods and hence jaw size had started to decrease over generations. Hence, the teeth finds a lesser place to accommodate in the jaws.


  • Decay can occur only in completely or partly erupted wisdom teeth.
  • Generally because of their remote position, food stuffs and debris can get caught and accumulate.
  • The natural cleansing effect of the tongue and cheek muscles also is not possible for these teeth.
  • Brushing also will not be able to fully clean up the food debris, as the head of the toothbrush cannot reach the wisdom tooth area.
  • So, decay can occur and spoil not only the wisdom teeth, but also the adjacent teeth because food debris often get accumulated in the gap between the wisdom tooth and the adjacent tooth.

3.Gum problem/Swelling:

  • When food debris accumulates, the overlying gums can get infected.
  • Sometimes injury to the gums while biting hard food, can also cause swollen gums in the wisdom tooth area .This is called pericoronitis.
  • This situation will lead to severe pain while chewing food and while opening the mouth.
  • If this problem is left carelessly, it may cause pus formation and will cause swelling and also inability to open the mouth.


  • Earlier, tooth removal (extraction or surgical removal) was the only option to treat wisdom tooth problems.
  • With recent advancements, root canal treatment (RCT) is performed in case of decayed wisdom teeth and hence, chance to save exists.
  • When there is swollen gum in relation to unimpacted wisdom teeth (pericoronitis), a surgical procedure called operculectomy is performed. By this way, the flap is removed and the tooth is allowed to erupt.
  • Generally most cases of wisdom teeth problems are treated by surgical removal only, as most of them remain impacted.

Consult a dentist online for queries regarding wisdom teeth problems -->


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Last reviewed at:
07 Sep 2019  -  2 min read




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