Because it’s difficult to keep the rearmost portion of the teeth clean with routine brushing and flossing alone, impacted wisdom teeth are more likely to collect bacteria, which can cause infections or abscesses. When the infection reaches the innermost portion of a tooth, it can move to the bloodstream, where it can spread throughout the body. In a worst case scenario, this can result in a life-threatening condition known as sepsis.
Furthermore, impacted wisdom teeth will continue to try to push through the gums, potentially damaging other nearby teeth in the process, which also has a ripple effect on your general health. Damaged teeth aren’t as effective at chewing nutritious fruits and vegetables, which can deprive your body of much needed vitamins and minerals. This effect is magnified if the nearby teeth are so severely damaged that they themselves need to be extracted.
To avoid the consequences that impacted wisdom teeth can have for your health, many patients will consult with an oral surgeon about having those teeth extracted. The teeth typically will need to be removed surgically because it is necessary to remove some surrounding bone in order to access and extract the teeth.
Although wisdom teeth extraction is performed by an oral surgeon, it’s a routine procedure and most patients will be able to resume normal day-to-day activities within a matter of days. You may need to alter you diet slightly to focus more on soft foods and limit vigorous activity for a period of time.
While any surgery, including wisdom teeth extraction, involves some risk, these risks can often been managed by following the instructions provided by your surgeon.
Would you like to know more about the health benefits of wisdom teeth removal? If so, call our office at Central Oklahoma Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery Associates to schedule an evaluation.