It used to be a regular practice to remove wisdom teeth in the late teenage years as a preventative measure to avoid common occurrences such as pain, impaction or infection. These things often happen because the wisdom teeth can grow in such a way that they become overcrowded, causing teeth to become misaligned or grow in the wrong direction. Today, the decision to remove these teeth is not made quite so readily. In many cases, they grow in without issue and cause no discomfort or problems. However, there are still some reasons to consider wisdom teeth removal.
More About Wisdom Teeth
Wisdom teeth are the teeth that are located furthest to the back of your mouth. They’re what’s known as the third molars. This set of teeth usually doesn’t emerge until the late teens or even early twenties. The process of the wisdom teeth erupting through the gum tissue can be rather painful, especially for those who don’t have adequate space in their mouth for these teeth.
In such cases, wisdom teeth can grow in crooked, angled in an odd direction or even end up horizontal to the jawline. Damage to the neighboring teeth and nerves or the jawbone itself can occur due to the overcrowding.
In addition, they can become impacted, meaning that they do not erupt fully and are held back by gum tissue or by the jawbone. This partial eruption usually causes major problems like infection, swelling and pain in the gums and jaw. Misaligned teeth can make it hard to reach all areas of your mouth, leading to higher chances of tooth decay.
Reasons to Keep Wisdom Teeth
With that being said, there are some reasons why you may want to avoid wisdom teeth removal. If your teeth are healthy, first and foremost, they probably don’t have to come out. Wisdom teeth that have fully erupted and grown in properly positioned can also remain. Finally, if you can brush, floss and maintain the teeth in the back of your mouth, you likely don’t have a problem.
Reasons for Wisdom Teeth Removal
If your wisdom teeth do come in only partially and are impacted within your gums, it’s best to remove them. The passageway that is created through this partial eruption is practically a sure invitation for infection, as it provides a welcome environment for bacteria. Wisdom teeth that are crowded or misaligned should come out to avoid damage to other teeth, and potentially, to the jaw and gums.
If a problem is detected, it’s best to take care of it early. Younger patients usually have fewer complications from the surgery. Other signs of necessary wisdom tooth removal include pain, fluid-filled cysts, tooth damage or decay, gum disease or recurring infection.
Consult the Professionals
At Runnels Orthodontics in Destin and Panama City Beach, Dr. Runnels will be able to monitor the progress of the emergence of your wisdom teeth and provide proactive advice on your next step regarding the possibility of wisdom teeth removal. Contact us today to schedule your appointment to learn more.