For many people, having wisdom teeth removed is a part of growing up and can be seen as a rite of passage. These late-blooming molars don’t usually appear until adulthood and can cause unexpected problems. There are several valid reasons why wisdom teeth removal is a necessary procedure that can benefit your oral health for years to come.
Overcrowding occurs when wisdom teeth erupt through the gum line and push their way into a space that is already filled with teeth. This can result in misalignment and damage to adjacent teeth. Because wisdom teeth don’t come in until later in life, they can ruin years of orthodontic work and wreak havoc on your bite.
Wisdom teeth often become partially or fully trapped in the gums or jawbone. This condition, known as impaction, can lead to pain, infection, and gum disease. The teeth can be in a variety of positions, which prevents them from erupting properly and puts pressure on other teeth.
Inflammation and Infection
Whether wisdom teeth have erupted through the gum line or not, they can cause a great deal of inflammation and infection. As a result, gums can become red, swollen, and painful. If the teeth are impacted or at an angle, they can push on other teeth and cause jaw pain, making it uncomfortable and difficult to chew. There is also the risk of an abscess that can damage the bone and roots of other teeth.
Sometimes, wisdom teeth can partially emerge through the gums but fail to erupt fully. In these cases, they become traps for food and bacteria. Their location makes them extremely difficult to keep clean, and they are vulnerable to cavities and gum disease.
Some dental professionals recommend the removal of wisdom teeth to prevent future problems. If X-rays show that they are impacted, positioned at an odd angle, or will cause overcrowding, they can be removed before any pain or infection sets in. The procedure is best done at a younger age. Ideally, surgery is scheduled before the jawbone hardens with age and the teeth are difficult to remove.
Wisdom teeth can easily be dismissed. But they start causing serious oral problems like infection and overcrowding. Before they do, it’s important to understand the risks they pose. Talk to your dentist about how to protect your mouth and smile. By having your wisdom teeth removed, you can prevent worse complications down the road.
If you have questions, find out more details about wisdom teeth removal!