Why do some people keep their wisdom teeth and others don’t? Wisdom teeth are the third molars that come in the back of your mouth right behind your first and second molars. They often come in sideways, crooked or misaligned in the mouth. Doing so, they can cause many issues within the mouth, such as pushing other teeth, which can lead to overcrowding and misalignment. With that in mind, is it really beneficial to keep your wisdom teeth?
In the human mouth, average arches essentially hold 28 teeth across the upper and lower arch; but with the wisdom teeth there are 32 teeth in total trying to settle in within the limited space. The limited amount of space therefore creates a barrier for teeth to grow in properly aligned. This issue causes other teeth in the mouth to become crooked. Removing your wisdom teeth can possibly prevent overcrowding and misalignment.
So when is the right time to have your wisdom teeth removed? The best time to have them removed is before you start experiencing symptoms. When you start experiencing pain in the back of your mouth, it means your wisdom teeth are shifting or causing gum inflammation. The pain will gradually start increasing. Nerve, bone, and tooth damage can start occurring when crooked wisdom teeth are pushing their way into the mouth. When wisdom teeth begin erupting through the gums, it can allow bacteria to enter around the gums, therefore causing inflammation or an infection in the mouth. Symptoms of an oral infection include pain, redness, tenderness and/or swelling around the site. Infected wisdom teeth can also be the cause behind foul breath and a bad taste while chewing food. Oral infections can spread from the mouth and affect the entire body. So preventing and managing wisdom teeth before they become infected is a very important factor in your overall health.
Wisdom teeth can also become impacted, which happens whenever neighboring teeth or bone prevents the tooth from erupting. Impacted wisdom teeth left untreated can cause damage within the oral cavity. Cysts, tumors are potential complications of impacted wisdom teeth. These cysts and tumors can cause damage to the bone surrounding the wisdom tooth or damage the neighboring tooth. The longer you hold off wisdom teeth extractions, the more invasive a surgical procedure might become.
Now in today’s dental world, it is rare that a patient experiences symptoms of erupting wisdom teeth because dentists and oral surgeons normally recommend removal of wisdom teeth before they become an issue for the patient. Wisdom teeth are typically removed through extraction of the tooth under local or general anesthetic. If you have any questions regarding your wisdom teeth, schedule a consult with us today!