Have you opted out of oral surgery to have your wisdom teeth removed? If you have, you might be putting your oral health and overall wellbeing at risk – even if your wisdom teeth are not bothering you. In many cases, when patients begin to experience uncomfortable symptoms related to wisdom teeth retention, oral conditions such as infections or misaligned teeth may have already developed. Keeping wisdom teeth can lead to dental caries, malocclusions (misaligned bites), and periodontal disease. Since wisdom teeth contribute to a number of oral health conditions, our oral surgeons often recommend extraction as a precautionary measure.
Why are wisdom teeth so problematic?
Wisdom teeth, also called third molars, are problematic for many reasons. These teeth come in years after other adult teeth erupt. Since the rest of permanent teeth are already established, there is very little room available for third molars to come through the gums. Without adequate room, wisdom teeth become impacted or “lodged in the gums”. Sometimes only a portion of a tooth’s crown will erupt while the rest of the tooth is still trapped under the gums. Partial crown eruption means that bacteria and debris from food can end up beneath the gums where the tooth is exposed. This situation is especially dangerous because it can infect the gums or lead to serious tooth decay and even abscesses.
Another threat to oral health posed by third molars is orthodontic issues. When wisdom teeth begin to emerge, they can shift existing permanent teeth out of alignment. Some patients with straight teeth may experience overlapping and crowding if they keep their wisdom teeth.
Lastly, retaining wisdom teeth often affects quality of life. Serious oral health conditions like periodontal disease or abscesses can wreak havoc on one’s health and produce very uncomfortable symptoms. It is not out of the ordinary for those who keep their wisdom teeth to suffer with facial pain and frequent headaches.
When should my wisdom teeth be extracted?
Our team provides gentle tooth extraction to help prevent complications associated with third molar retention. However, deciding the best time to undergo treatment should be discussed with your oral surgeon after an examination.
Call our friendly and skilled oral surgery team today to schedule an appointment.