Why You Should Have Your Wisdom Teeth Removed
Wisdom teeth are named for the timing with which they begin to push through the gums, during a young person’s approaching adulthood and newly arrived wisdom. Erupting behind the first two sets of molars in the back of your mouth, these new molars join 28 other teeth that are already present. Most wisdom teeth have a difficult time fitting comfortably into a full set of teeth.
What are impacted teeth?
Impacted teeth are those that are unable to push through the gums and remain fully or partially covered by gum or bone. This scenario is quite common, when it comes to wisdom teeth, and has the potential to cause a variety of complications. In fact, 9 in 10 people have at least one impacted tooth. Impacted teeth can lead to:
- Jaw pain and swelling
- Bad breath
- Inflamed, irritated, and bleeding gums
- Damage to adjacent teeth
- Loss of bone and gum
Most of us find wisdom teeth to be harmless initially. What we don’t understand is the potential they have to eventually cause serious problems to the rest of our mouths. Some people never get wisdom teeth, but most of us do, and at Flushing Oral Surgery and Dental Implants, we highly recommend their extraction for the following reasons.
Misaligned and Crowded Teeth
As stated above, there’s little room left for wisdom teeth once it’s their turn to arrive. So, it’s no surprise that their pushing and shoving negatively impact adjacent teeth and leave them misaligned. If you or your child have had braces, the orthodontist has likely recommended a wisdom teeth extraction soon after having the braces removed to avoid overcrowding and damage to your newly straightened smile.
Damaged Bone and Teeth
If keeping your smile straight isn’t enough motivation to schedule that wisdom teeth removal, how about the damage those third molars can cause to your jaw and next-door molars? When too many teeth are crammed in too small a space, bone loss and tooth decay can spread like wildfire. It’s simply not worth the risk.
Teeth and bone aren’t the only ones in jeopardy when it comes to impacted wisdom teeth. Our gums often get caught in the crossfire as well. Those who let their wisdom teeth fend for themselves often end up with inflamed gums and complications that are difficult to repair. Partially impacted teeth tend to pull away from the gums, leaving ample opportunity for bacteria to grow and infection to occur.
Jaw Pain and TMJ Complications
Having your wisdom teeth removed reduces the likelihood that cysts or tumors will form in your jaw, and those growths may cause not only pain but also complications related to TMJ.
Difficult Dental Hygiene
Even patients who decide to keep their wisdom teeth intact find their teeth to be quite snug, making flossing nearly impossible in places. We’ve found that adequate brushing is also tricky when teeth are packed in. Undergoing the small surgery to have your wisdom teeth removed might be worth being able to enjoy excellent oral hygiene for the rest of your life.
There’s no doubt about it—the potential for things to go poorly when wisdom teeth are left to their own devices is not worth the risk. Having them removed ensures fewer complications down the road. If you have any questions about your particular situation, don’t hesitate to give us a call and schedule a consultation with one of our wisdom teeth experts.
For more information about wisdom teeth view our informative pages below.
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