Why You May Need to Have Your Wisdom Teeth Removed

Why You May Need to Have Your Wisdom Teeth Removed

Wisdom teeth are the last adult teeth to come into the mouth, or erupt. Most adults have four wisdom teeth, located at the back of the mouth with two on top and two on bottom. These molars can be a primary asset later in life, but they sometimes simply do not fit in the mouth properly. This can be due to crowding, misalignment, or the overall mouth size.

When wisdom teeth do not erupt properly, they become impacted from erupting at a bad angle, or if they jam against adjacent teeth. Impacted wisdom teeth can cause severe pain, though. Other difficulties may also arise, such as sinus congestion, inflamed gums, cyst formation in the jaw, or heavy bleeding.

In one scenario, part of the tooth may remain under a flap of gum. This can lead to the trapping of food particles, bacteria growth, and an infection. This infection, or pericoronitis, is the most common reason dentists recommend wisdom teeth removal. Even without pericoronitis, impacted wisdom teeth are very hard to clean, which inherently makes them a higher risk for decay.

Impacted wisdom teeth can also undo the corrective effects of braces, bridges, and crowns. Therefore, some dentists remove the wisdom teeth as a precaution. According to an article in the American Journal of Public Health, up to 10 million wisdom teeth are removed from approximately five million people every year, a high number of them on a preliminary basis. The younger you are when the teeth are removed the better, because the bones in your mouth get harder as you age.

If you have questions about impacted wisdom teeth or dental extraction, schedule an appointment with our team.