Not long ago, every dental patient had his or her wisdom teeth removed as a matter of course. These teeth can cause serious problems, damaging other teeth or causing swelling in the gums that can lead to cavities and infections.
If your wisdom teeth are not removed when you were a teenager or young adult, you may need to have them reevaluated to see whether removal surgery makes sense. Dr. Thomas Ocheltree, an experienced oral surgeon from Bloomington, Illinois, breaks down the reasons why wisdom teeth may need to be removed.
The Case for Removing Early
Generally speaking, the jawbones of teenagers and young adults are not as hard as they will become in adulthood. This makes removal an easier proposition with fewer possibilities for damage and complications. Removing wisdom teeth early gives the remaining teeth more room in the jaw, helping with alignment problems.
Some complications that may occur if the wisdom teeth are not removed early include fractured teeth, heavy bleeding, and numbness in the jaw. When this procedure is done on teens and young adults, there are fewer problems.
One of the most common reasons according to Thomas Ocheltree for the removal of wisdom teeth is if they become impacted. Impaction means that the teeth are trapped in your gum. They can be obstructed by other teeth or by the shape of the jaw. Sometimes, wisdom teeth are even turned on their sides with the roots facing forward or backward in the jaw. This can cause serious pain and complications in the mouth.
Damage to Other Teeth
Particularly if the teeth are impacted, they may damage other teeth nearby. This can result in expensive problems like root canals and crowns. The teeth can be broken, cracked, or chipped by wisdom teeth that come too close. Removing the wisdom teeth will take care of any damage that they may cause within the mouth.
Mouth Size and Bite Issues
Your wisdom teeth may move the other teeth, causing bite alignment and jaw problems. If your mouth is too small for your wisdom teeth, the other teeth will move to make room, but there may not be a space for them to go. This can cause crowding and other serious problems. When the wisdom teeth are removed, crowding will be relieved, leading to a better smile.
When wisdom teeth are not removed, they can cause cysts to form. These cysts can cause hollow spots in your jaw and cause damage to your nerves as well. These problems are very difficult to correct and should be avoided whenever possible.
Especially in people with existing gum disease, the wisdom teeth should be removed. The extra crowding in the back of the mouth can irritate the gums, allowing bacteria to enter. Periodontal patients need to be extremely careful with anything that can affect the health of their gums. Otherwise, teeth could be loosened or lost.
Since the wisdom teeth are located close to the sinuses, any problem with the wisdom teeth can cause sinus issues as well. When wisdom teeth are removed, oral surgeons need to be extremely careful that they do not interfere with the sinuses. This could cause infections and complications.
Wisdom Tooth Surgery Makes Sense
As a preventive measure, wisdom tooth surgery makes sense. Not everyone will need their wisdom teeth removed, but it is smart to look into the surgery while you are still a young adult. If you wait much longer, you may have harder bone and more complications upon removal.
Avoiding gum problems, jaw damage, sinus problems, and tooth crowding are all great reasons to have wisdom teeth removed. An oral surgeon like Dr. Thomas Ocheltree can help a patient decide whether their wisdom teeth need to be removed for better health.
Guest post by Tyler Scott