No matter what age you are when you have your wisdom teeth out, it can be a daunting and worrying time. The more you understand about why your wisdom teeth need to come out, the more comfortable you will feel.
Why do my wisdom teeth need to be removed?
For the most part, we all go through life without our wisdom teeth giving us too many problems – until they do. There are a few different reasons why you might need your wisdom teeth removed.
If you have a wisdom tooth that is partially erupted, food and bacteria can collect in, around and under the gum. Sometimes brushing and flossing aren’t enough to clean the area, and an infection called periocoronitis develops. It’s a painful and occasionally serious infection, and very common with the lower wisdom teeth. This infection may cause swelling, a bad taste, bad breath and the inability to fully open your mouth. Treatment usually involves the use of antibiotics.
If nothing is done, these infections tend to reoccur, with each attack becoming more frequent and severe. Dentists prefer to remove partially erupted teeth before they become infected, as there are fewer complications with healing and less damage to surrounding teeth.
Food and bacteria that collect around an impacted wisdom tooth can cause the wisdom tooth or the tooth next to it, to decay. It’s hard for dentists remove the decay from other teeth until the offending wisdom tooth is removed.
Many orthodontists believe the pressure from developing wisdom teeth can cause teeth to become overcrowded. By removing the wisdom teeth, not only are they making more room for your teeth to be move and to making sure you have a correct bite, but ensuring that the completed orthodontic work won’t be undone if your wisdom teeth came through in the future.
Pressure pain or root resorption
An erupting wisdom tooth can put a lot of pressure on other teeth in your mouth, especially the molar next to it. Depending on the angle and position of the erupting wisdom tooth, it might push against the root of the molar next to it, causing significant damage (root resorption) – or causing it to die.
If you’re a candidate for dentures, it’s important to have wisdom teeth removed. If a wisdom tooth erupts beneath a denture it can cause severe irritation and reshape your gums. This will mean that new denture will need to be constructed.
Sometimes a cyst (fluid filled sac) can develop from the soft tissue around an impacted wisdom tooth. This is rare, but serious, as cysts cause bone destruction, jaw expansion and damage to nearby teeth. The removal of the cyst is necessary to prevent further bone loss. Unfortunately, tumors are also a rare complication of cysts. If the cyst grows very large, the jaw may fracture spontaneously.
Whatever the reason you’re having your wisdom teeth removed, the main reason is being suggested is preventative.
Your dentist and Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon don’t want you to have to endure more pain or more dental work than required, now, or in the future.
Never be afraid to ask questions when talking to a Smile Solutions dentist or Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon. The more questions you ask, the more you’ll understand – all our general dentists, Dr Bordbar and Dr Kumar are a wealth of information!