Many people are asking the same question: when is it necessary to get your wisdom teeth removed? Wisdom teeth, known as third molars, usually grow in the late teens and early twenties. But do you need to have them taken out? While opinions vary, studies suggest that removing wisdom teeth to maintain oral health is usually best. This post will examine why you may want to consider wisdom tooth extraction.
What are Wisdom Teeth?
Wisdom teeth are the third and final set of molars that usually appear between 17 and 25. They are located at the back of each side of your mouth, in the upper and lower jaw, and are also known as third molars. Wisdom teeth used to serve an important purpose in our ancestors' diets - they allowed us to grind and chew tougher foods that our regular molars couldn't break down. However, due to diet changes and jaw structure, most people no longer need wisdom teeth.
Keeping & Removing Your Wisdom Teeth
When it comes to wisdom teeth, you can keep or remove them - you'll need to decide what's best for your situation.
When You NEED to Get Your Wisdom Teeth Extracted
There are certain situations where it's best to get your wisdom teeth extracted, even if they're not causing any pain or discomfort. Here are a few examples:
- They are Impacted: An impacted tooth may be partially or completely blocked from erupting due to a lack of space in the jawbone to fully emerge. As a result, bacteria and food particles can accumulate in the area, leading to infection and other complications, causing pain, disease, and damage to other teeth. Extraction of impacted wisdom teeth is necessary because it can cause serious issues if left untreated.
- Overcrowding in the Mouth: When wisdom teeth start to come in, your other teeth may become crowded, leading to misalignment and other issues with how your teeth fit together. Wisdom tooth extraction can help prevent overcrowding of existing teeth and bite problems that may develop due to misalignment.
- Decay and Gum Disease: Wisdom teeth are often hard to reach when brushing and flossing. Extracting these teeth may help prevent the spread of decay and gum disease in the mouth.
- Pain and Inflammation: Wisdom teeth can cause a lot of pain and inflammation in the mouth. If your wisdom teeth are causing this discomfort, extracting them as soon as possible is best.
- Cysts or Tumours: Cysts or tumours can form in and around the wisdom teeth, leading to serious damage to nearby tissues and structures. Extracting these teeth can help prevent further damage from occurring.
Advantages of Extracting Your Wisdom Tooth
Extracting your wisdom teeth can lead to multiple benefits and improved dental health. Here are some of the advantages:
- Removing impacted or partially erupted wisdom teeth frees adjacent healthy teeth from infection and damage.
- Create more space for the remaining teeth, helping to keep them in proper alignment.
- Reduce pressure on the surrounding teeth, which leads to reduced pain and discomfort.
- Easier to access certain areas of your mouth for cleaning and care.
When You DON'T NEED to Have Your Wisdom Teeth Removed
Even though wisdom teeth are often removed, there are many reasons why it's not necessary.
- They are Healthy: If your wisdom teeth are healthy, there's no need to have them removed. You have to ensure they stay healthy and not cause problems.
- No Space Concerns: If your other teeth have enough room to fit and your wisdom teeth do not cause any issues, you won't need to remove them.
- Completely Erupted: If your wisdom teeth have completely emerged from the gum line, you may not need to get them removed. Removing them might be unnecessary if they are not causing pain or discomfort and there is enough room for them in your mouth.
- Sufficient Daily Oral Hygiene: Removing them might be unnecessary if you can brush and floss around your wisdom teeth without issues.
- Patient's Age: If you're older than 25, removing your wisdom teeth may be unnecessary because they have already fully developed and settled into place.
Risks of Removal
When wisdom teeth are removed, possible risks include nerve damage, excessive bleeding and infection. Nerve damage can cause tingling, pain or numbness in the lips, chin or gums. Bleeding is expected after surgery, but it can indicate an underlying problem if excessive. Infection can occur post-surgery due to bacteria entering the site.
Choosing an experienced and qualified dentist with specific experience performing the procedure is important to minimise risks associated with wisdom teeth removal. The patient should follow after-care instructions and regularly clean their mouth by brushing and flossing.
Wisdom teeth removal is a procedure many people go through, as it can help prevent dental complications and maintain optimal oral health. Although some individuals may not need to have their wisdom teeth removed, for those who do, the process can be completed safely with the right dentist. Understanding any risks associated with surgery and how to care for the mouth after the procedure is important. Understanding these key points ensures your wisdom teeth removal experience goes as smoothly and safely as possible.
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