Health Tip: Words of Wisdom Teeth

When extraction may be necessary

(HealthDay News) -- Sometimes, it's just not smart to keep your wisdom teeth.

There's no problem when wisdom teeth are healthy and properly positioned, says the American Dental Association.

But wisdom teeth should be extracted when they only partially erupt and leave an opening for bacteria to enter around the tooth and cause infection. That can lead to swelling, pain, jaw stiffness and general illness.

Extraction may also be recommended when there's a risk that poorly-aligned wisdom teeth may damage nearby teeth or when a cyst (fluid-filled sac) develops and threatens to destroy surrounding bone or tooth roots.

Consumer News