Wisdom Teeth Removal: Is it Necessary?

Wisdom Teeth RemovalHaving a wisdom teeth removal procedure is fairly common, but is it always necessary? Many times people are able to keep their wisdom teeth without any problems. However, they may eventually develop complications with these teeth even after they fully erupt, and require an extraction. Here are examples of when wisdom teeth removal is necessary:

Wisdom Teeth Decay Easily

Typically the health of a wisdom tooth relies on anatomy of the person’s mouth and how well their oral hygiene is. Unfortunately, even the people with the best oral hygiene can still develop major problems with their wisdom teeth because they can be extremely difficult to keep clean. Simple brushing and flossing is usually not enough to keep wisdom teeth decay free. Rather than treating decay with fillings or other restorative procedures, it is typically the standard of care to have the wisdom teeth removed.

Crowding

Wisdom teeth are the 3rd set of molars that typically erupt in the late teens and early twenties. They are the teeth furthest back in the mouth and often come in at an angle while pressing into the next tooth. If the tooth comes in this way and is impacted against the next tooth it may never finish erupting. Instead it can cause crowding or damage to the tooth that it is impacted against. In the beginning this may not be noticeable, but it is a big concern for people that have undergone orthodontic treatment and wish to maintain a straight smile.

Partial Eruption

When a wisdom tooth is only partially showing through the gums, it means the tooth is partially erupted. This allows food, plaque and bacteria to develop under the gum pocket around the wisdom teeth. This can cause decay to the tooth as well as infections such as dental abscesses.

Gum Disease

The molars are typically susceptible to gum disease more than other teeth in the mouth, and wisdom teeth even more so because they are so difficult to care for. Gum disease starts out at gingivitis and progresses to the point where supporting bone structure is lost. Even if the wisdom teeth are the only teeth that have gum disease, this condition is one that spreads to adjacent teeth and can lead to the loss of other teeth as well.

Damage to Adjacent Teeth

If a wisdom tooth is impacted against an adjacent tooth, develops decay or gum disease, these conditions will cause trauma or dental disease to the adjacent tooth. While it may not seem important to remove the wisdom teeth unless symptoms are present, early intervention is important to maintain the health of the other teeth.

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