Is It Wise To Keep Your Wisdom Teeth?

Wisdom teeth often present problems. That is why wisdom tooth removal is one of the most commonly performed dental surgeries. Because wisdom teeth erupt after the jaw is already formed, there is often a lack of space to accommodate them. Therefore they may grow in crooked, crowd other teeth, cause cheek or gum irritation, or even damage your jawbone. In the past it was a matter of course to remove wisdom teeth, but today every case is different. If your child–or you as an adult–is having difficulty with your wisdom teeth, contact your Cerritos, CA oral surgeon, Dr. Shawn Hofkes, to discuss whether wisdom tooth removal is right for you.

Reasons For Removal

Wisdom teeth are the last teeth to erupt and are located at the very back of your mouth. If they don’t have room to grow they can cause numerous problems.

Crooked Teeth: Wisdom teeth may come in crooked; erupt horizontally, or at odd angles in the jaw. They can also make other teeth crooked by crowding them, causing them to shift over time.

Partially Emerged Wisdom Teeth: Other times wisdom teeth will only partially erupt, creating a hidden pathway that attracts bacteria, leading to infection and gum disease.

Impacted Wisdom Teeth: Some wisdom teeth remain trapped in the gum or jaw and are impacted. Impacted teeth can be painful, and if infected, can present more serious problems.

Wisdom Teeth Growing Into Nerve: In any of these instances the wisdom tooth may grow too near to the nerve in the lower jaw, causing pain and other complications.

If you experience any of the above, or any of the following symptoms associated with your wisdom teeth, your dentist may recommend removing them.

  • Pain
  • Crowding or damage to surrounding teeth
  • Extensive tooth decay
  • Cysts or tumors near the wisdom teeth
  • Swelling, bleeding, infection, or gum disease
  • Recurring infections

Wisdom Tooth Removal For Adults

Wisdom teeth were often extracted before they began to erupt to prevent future complications. But many dentists today prefer to avoid surgery if the wisdom teeth grow in straight and are healthy. However, wisdom tooth removal is easier for the young. When you are young the jawbone is softer, and the roots are not completely formed making removal less difficult. As you age your jawbone becomes more dense and the roots continue to grow. The older you get, the more difficult wisdom teeth surgery can become. However, if you’re an adult who requires wisdom tooth removal, Dr. Hofkes practice is equipped to meet your dental needs.


Shawn Hofkes, DDS, is highly qualified to address complex issues, including the diagnosis and removal of adult wisdom teeth. To schedule your appointment or consultation with Dr. Hofkes, contact us today by calling 562-584-4082. We proudly serve patients of all ages from Cerritos, Lakewood, Long Beach, Buena Park, and all surrounding communities.