For most individuals, their first wisdom tooth begins to grow in between the ages of 17 and 25. While every mouth is different, it is typical to have a total of only four wisdom teeth. In some cases, fewer appear above the gum line, while others may never surface at all. For a few people,…
When Is Wisdom Tooth Extraction Necessary?
Many dental patients find themselves needing a wisdom teeth extraction. Wisdom teeth, the third and last set of molars, usually erupt in a person’s late teens or early 20s. While some patients will have no problems with their wisdom teeth, these molars often become problematic and cause issues that require extraction.
Reasons for wisdom teeth removal
It is important for dental patients who have problems with their wisdom teeth to have them removed to prevent issues and sustain proper oral health. The following are a few of the most common reasons that patients need to have these teeth taken out.
Wisdom teeth have a tendency to become impacted, in which the teeth are trapped in the jaw and are unable to fully emerge through the gums. Impactions can lead to dental infections and result in sore and bleeding gums, pain and swelling in the jaw, and bad breath.
Wisdom teeth, particularly those that are impacted, are prone to causing swollen gums. This usually creates pockets between the teeth that may harbor bacteria and lead to tooth decay.
When a wisdom tooth is unable to fully break through the gums, there is a flap of gum tissue that lingers over the remaining tooth. This flap can trap food and make it difficult to brush and clean the tooth properly. This increases the risk of infections and gum disease.
The emerging of wisdom teeth sometimes causes crowding of the other teeth, particularly in patients who have smaller jaws. If there is not enough room for them, the rest of the teeth may become misaligned and require straightening options such as braces to correct. Wisdom tooth extraction helps to prevent misalignments.
Issues with the roots of wisdom teeth can negatively affect the sinuses and cause patients to experience pain, pressure, and congestion in the sinus cavity.
Tooth and jaw damage
The third set of molars erupting can cause damage to the nearby second molars and result in a subsequent infection. Wisdom teeth may also lead to cysts developing around them, which may lead to nerve damage in the jaw.
When wisdom teeth should be removed
Most dental professionals advise patients to have a wisdom tooth extraction procedure done as soon as possible if it is recommended. The surgery has a much easier recovery when it is done at an earlier age; as a person ages, the bones in the mouth get harder and make teeth more difficult to extract. Waiting for too long to have wisdom teeth removed may lead to issues such as numbness, heavy bleeding, and loss of movement in the jaw that could be long-lasting.
Many patients need a wisdom tooth extraction to prevent problematic dental issues and to maintain good oral health. The removal of these molars is a simple procedure that usually has a quick recovery and helps patients to avoid discomfort and other dental complications.
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