Having wisdom teeth removed is an experience that many teens and adults will face at some point. Wisdom teeth, also known as third molars, are the last set of teeth to develop. They typically appear during the late teens or early twenties, which is when most people undergo the surgical procedure to have them removed. Some people do not have these molars removed until later in life.
By having wisdom teeth extracted, you protect your oral health by preventing a number of health conditions from arising. Even if wisdom teeth do not cause symptoms, it is still recommended to have them removed because they could damage your oral health without causing pain. Learn more about wisdom teeth removal.
At Hill & Ioppolo Oral & Dental Implant Surgery of Lubbock in Lubbock, TX, we understand the importance of having wisdom teeth extracted and recommend scheduling an appointment if you suspect the presence of third molars. We’ve put together a list of the top five benefits of getting your wisdom teeth removed so you can better understand the benefits of this procedure and the risks of leaving wisdom teeth untreated.
Wisdom teeth can put a lot of pressure on the adjacent molars, possibly grinding away their enamel or damaging their roots. The roots of a wisdom tooth are very large and unpredictable. These roots can grow into the roots of other teeth or pierce facial nerves, specifically the inferior alveolar nerve which gives sensation to the lower lip, chin, and cheek. Infection from a wisdom tooth can spread to other teeth, leading to cavities or even bone loss.
The average adult mouth can hold 28 teeth. An extra set of molars trying to make room can be problematic and lead to dental overcrowding. When there are too many teeth in the dental arch, the teeth are slowly pushed out of alignment to try to make room. Having wisdom teeth extracted can lessen the likelihood of needing braces, or greatly reduce the alignment issues that future orthodontic treatment seeks to correct.
Wisdom teeth can fully erupt through the gum tissue, partially erupt, or become impacted, which means the tooth is stuck beneath the gums. When a tooth partially erupts, it becomes a magnet for food and infection-causing bacteria. Cysts and tumors can form around an infected tooth, which can invade the jaw bone and cause TMJ pain. If infection is not controlled, it can spread to nearby teeth and gums. Infection also causes chronic bad breath that will not go away, regardless of how often you brush. Infected wisdom teeth can be prevented by having them extracted as soon as possible.
A partially erupted wisdom tooth is very difficult to clean around, because only a portion of the tooth can be accessed. A wisdom tooth that has fully erupted through the gums can also be difficult to clean because space is limited, making it hard to get a toothbrush around all sides of the tooth and floss between them. Many patients who develop wisdom teeth with no uncomfortable side effects often develop oral hygiene problems and don’t realize the damage until it causes pain or is noticed by a dental professional.
It can be painful when an extra set of molars tries to make room when there isn’t enough space in the dental arch. Wisdom teeth often cause inflamed gums and sensitivity. When the gums are sensitive or inflamed, it can be painful to enjoy the foods you want to eat. The pressure from wisdom teeth can cause chronic headaches as pain radiates through the jaw. Having third molars removed relieves this pressure and allows you to eat the foods you want without irritated gums.
If you or your child have wisdom teeth, or if your general dentist has detected wisdom teeth during a checkup, contact an oral surgeon to have them removed. The sooner wisdom teeth are removed, the sooner you can prevent oral health issues from having the chance to arise. Contact Hill & Ioppolo Oral & Dental Implant Surgery of Lubbock in Lubbock, TX, for a consultation.