Wisdom teeth emerge between the ages of 17 to 21. They erupt at the very back of the mouth and complete our standard set of 32 teeth.
In modern times, however, jaw sizes have shrunk, leaving no space for wisdom teeth. Moreover, advancements in agricultural technology and food habits have reduced the need to chew with the wisdom teeth.
As they are difficult to maintain, most dentists and surgeons suggest extracting them at the patient’s earliest convenience. There are many benefits and a few drawbacks of wisdom tooth removal to consider before you decide either way.
Why Do Dentists Suggest Wisdom Teeth Removal?
Wisdom teeth can negatively affect oral health. Not only are they painful for some, but they can also make it hard to chew and smile. Here’s why dentists suggest that you undergo wisdom tooth removal:
Partially Impacted Wisdom Teeth Can Cause Oral Infections
If your wisdom teeth do not erupt fully from the gums, they are called impacted or partially impacted teeth. They often erupt at a different angle than your other teeth, and their roots can push into another tooth. Or, they may erupt and stick out halfway.
These teeth create holes or spaces that can trap food particles, leading to oral infections. An infected mouth will feel uncomfortable and develop a bad odor. You might even suffer from gum inflammation if you do not treat the issue promptly.
Wisdom Teeth Are Difficult To Clean
As wisdom teeth erupt at the very back of your mouth, you might not be able to clean them properly. Teeth need daily brushing, flossing, and cleaning. However, oral care can be challenging if your mouth has developed inflammation and infection from impacted wisdom teeth.
The accumulated debris can lead to bacterial infections spreading to neighboring teeth and cause cavities and other issues, like gum disease.
Your Mouth Might Not Have Enough Space For Your Wisdom Teeth
Thanks to gradual evolution, the general size of the human mouth has decreased in size. As you grow up, your mouth might be unable to accommodate more teeth.
Thanks to the lack of space, these adult molars usually cause other teeth to shift closer to each other. This can misalign your teeth, making them hard to brush and clean.
Impacted third molars might also lead to small cyst formations and tumors within the jawbone. These are highly uncomfortable. There are also risks of developing temporomandibular joint (TMJ) syndrome.
You Can Experience Pain And Structural Issues From Impacted Wisdom Teeth
Not only do your teeth shift when the third molars emerge, but you may also experience pain from impacted wisdom teeth. They can cause you to have headaches, jaw pain, and facial discomfort. Moreover, they might misalign and distort your smile aesthetics.
The imbalance in the structure of your teeth causes stress on healthy teeth. The stress can gradually weaken the teeth and cause fractures and cracks that harbor harmful bacteria.
For many, wisdom teeth erupt after orthodontic tooth alignments. They can misalign the newly-aligned tooth structure and ruin years of improvement from wearing braces and aligners.
Wisdom Teeth Removal Prevents Systemic Infection
Impacted wisdom teeth can be the root cause of many whole-body infections. Systemic infections affect various organs which then need extensive treatments. Since proper oral care is generally impossible with localized infections, you might end up swallowing the bacteria and spread it throughout your entire body.
Partially or fully impacted wisdom teeth infection in the jawbone can cause a loss of bone density. If it reaches the bloodstream, it can lead to systemic infections in the lungs, kidneys, and other organs. The harmful bacteria also cause a rise in arterial plaque.
To steer clear of these potentially dangerous health issues, dental specialists recommend wisdom teeth removal as soon as possible.
Pros And Cons Of Wisdom Teeth Removal
If your wisdom teeth have not yet erupted or have come in without trouble, you might wonder if you really need wisdom teeth removal surgery. In such cases, it is best to consult with a dentist to discuss the pros and cons of extracting your wisdom teeth. These pros and cons may include the following:
Reduces potential risks from impacted teeth
The first risk from impacted teeth is pain from misalignment. If your wisdom teeth sprouted against another tooth or stopped halfway, it can be painful. They may not completely break through the gums and leave areas where food particles, plaque, and bacteria can get stuck.
These spaces harbor infections that can lead to inflammation, pain, and various other oral problems. Impacted wisdom teeth are susceptible to cavities as you might not be able to clean them properly.
The wisdom teeth removal procedure lowers these potential risks and can help you feel more comfortable in the long run. It can also help to prevent possible gum problems as you age.
Lowers risk of teeth crowding
As there is a 44% chance of wisdom teeth sprouting at an angle, they might push into the neighboring teeth. This usually leads to teeth crowding and the roots of the impacted teeth might push into neighboring teeth.
If these semi-impacted or impacted wisdom teeth cause teeth crowding, the patient might need to opt for orthodontic treatment.
No impacted teeth mean no pain
Impacted teeth can be painful. They often stop sprouting halfway and can cause severe gum pain. They can also make it hard to chew, talk, and smile. The pain can cause headaches and a stiffening feeling inside the jaw.
A precautionary wisdom teeth removal surgery can prevent discomfort from impacted teeth.
The surgery is less complicated for younger patients
Wisdom teeth erupt during young adulthood, and they are easy to surgically extract when you are 18-21 years old. The surgery takes less time and is safer at this age. There are lower chances of post-surgical complications occurring in younger patients.
Sometimes, the extraction is unnecessary
Because the wisdom teeth can come in normally for some people, extraction may be unnecessary. However, this is rare. Only a dentist can make an individual recommendation for a patient.
Complications can occur
Some people do experience post-surgery complications. If you use tobacco and are over the age of 25, the surgery usually causes infections and other oral issues. As it is a surgical procedure, there can be some post-operative problems such as bleeding and dry socket.
Dry socket is a medical side-effect of smoking, spitting, and drinking through straws after wisdom teeth removal surgery. It occurs when blood clots at the extraction site fall out before they should or fail to form altogether. This leaves the area vulnerable to bacteria and food particles, leading to horrible pain. The good news is that it takes only a few days for the pain to recede.
A surgical procedure is involved
If you have ever experienced anesthesia complications, it can be risky to undergo teeth removal surgery.
Anesthesia is the first stage of any surgical procedure, and it is important to disclose your medical history to your surgeon beforehand. An allergic reaction might result in more complications.
All in all, being careful and asking a medical specialist about your dental health can help you understand your candidacy for a wisdom tooth removal.
Advanced Wisdom Teeth Removal Options
Nowadays, wisdom teeth removal is a routine procedure. Consult a dental professional to get an idea of how to go forward with the surgery. They can assess and evaluate your dental conditions and extract fully-formed wisdom teeth like any other regular teeth.
IV sedation is an effective option for patients with fully or partially impacted wisdom teeth. Surgeons usually remove impacted wisdom teeth in small sections to lessen disturbances in the jawbone.
Book Your Wisdom Teeth Procedure In Miami Today
Understanding the benefits of a successful wisdom teeth removal surgery can help you weigh your need for one. If you are ready to secure your future oral health, book an appointment in Miami with Dr. John Paul Gallardo.
Dr. Gallardo has a stellar reputation as a periodontal specialist in the Miami area. He also offers dental exams and cleanings and recommends customized options for your oral health. Call 305-547-8687 today to schedule your next visit.