Many people wonder whether wisdom teeth removal is something that is necessary to maintain optimal oral health and comfort. Each patient is unique and the correct answer depends on a number of factors. But generally wisdom teeth removal is widely believed to be an effective technique for preventing gum infection, tooth decay, and discomfort due to pressure inside the mouth. Here is a little more insight and information regarding wisdom tooth removal and the status of your oral health.
What are wisdom teeth?
You have three molars on each side of your upper and lower jaws, for a total of 12. The wisdom teeth, otherwise known as the third molars, are the last set of large teeth to emerge. Because they generally make their appearance between 16 and 25 years of age, long after the eruption of other molars, they are called “wisdom” teeth.
Reasons for Wisdom Teeth Removal
There are a number of reasons when wisdom tooth extraction is recommended.
In many cases, the presence of wisdom teeth may contribute to the overcrowding of other teeth throughout the mouth. When wisdom teeth are left untouched, they also have the potential to cause the shifting of existing teeth that have already undergone orthodontic correction.
Wisdom teeth can increase your risk of developing tooth decay and periodontal disease due to the fact that crowded teeth are more difficult to clean properly. The problem may be the wisdom tooth itself or else its neighboring tooth, the adjacent 2nd molar. If the positioning of a wisdom tooth is such that it becomes difficult to clean, it will be at increased risk for cavity formation.
Another reason that wisdom teeth are removed involves the health of your gums. If a wisdom tooth erupts partially through the gum, the resulting opening in the gingival tissue can serve as a potential site of infection. This may also lead to “Pericoronitis”, which refers to a bacterial infection located in the soft tissues that surround the crown portion of a partially erupted tooth. It occurs when bacteria accumulation builds up but cannot be adequately cleansed away due to the configuration of the gum tissue that surrounds the wisdom teeth.
The most common reason for wisdom tooth extraction is impaction. When a tooth is impacted, it becomes trapped within the jaw and may cause damage to bone tissue, nerves, and adjacent teeth. Impacted teeth can cause problems with chewing or periodontal problems and damage adjacent teeth. Timely removal helps to prevent this damage before it becomes serious and painful for the patient.
People also seek an evaluation of their wisdom teeth because they have experienced a painful episode. Having pain is the most common third molar symptom. 33% of patients who have symptoms report this as one of them.
Some people are lucky and never need surgery as their wisdom teeth grow into proper position, or the teeth stay in the jawbone and don’t cause problems. Others don’t need surgery as young adults, but their wisdom teeth may cause problems later in life.
When Can You Have Your Wisdom Teeth Removed?
In general, it’s best to have wisdom teeth taken out between ages 16 and 22. The crown of each tooth is formed first, and is pushed up when the root of the tooth develops. In young adults, the root formation is not complete, so there are fewer complications and risks. But there’s no age limit to getting your wisdom teeth removed. As you get older, the surgery is more difficult, recovery is more difficult and the risk of complications is higher. But if your dentist recommends surgery, don’t wait.
Schedule Your Consultation Today
Do you suspect that you may be suffering from an impacted wisdom tooth? Contact Arizona Biltmore Dentistry to schedule a one-on-one consultation. Our team can’t wait to help you discover real relief from wisdom tooth pain, allowing you to smile comfortably and happily once again.