Why Do Wisdom Teeth Need To Be Extracted?
Wisdom teeth, despite their name, do not make anyone wiser. When these late-stage molars emerge from the gums and crowd your existing teeth, they can be quite painful. Even worse, wisdom teeth have been documented to cause jaw alignment issues, sinus problems, long-term, harmful cavities, and cysts.
Yet, some people are fortunate not to suffer these common wisdom tooth symptoms and sufferings. For these fortunate individuals, the question is whether wisdom tooth removal is worthwhile. Is it necessary to remove all wisdom teeth merely because oral surgery has become extremely common? A Fort Myers, FL dentist can help answer these questions, so schedule an appointment today.
When not to remove the wisdom teeth
Oral surgery has almost become a milestone in life for young adults. However, contrary to popular opinion – and what you have seen from your relatives and friends – wisdom tooth extraction is not always mandatory.
This third set of molars usually appears between adolescence and early adulthood. By then, we will have lost all our baby teeth, and the adult set will have taken its place. Most people have little place for any more teeth to grow, so the unexpected emergence of wisdom teeth becomes a concern.
Nonetheless, there are certain situations where wisdom teeth do not need to be extracted, such as:
- The wisdom teeth have grown completely or fully emerged.
- The wisdom teeth are healthy.
- They are correctly positioned in line with the other teeth and are not affecting your bite.
- They can be reached when flossing or brushing your teeth.
When to remove the wisdom teeth
When wisdom teeth create complications or X-rays reveal they may in the future, they must be extracted. Other compelling reasons to remove them include the following:
- Damage to adjacent teeth
An extra set of molars can jostle your other teeth, creating pain and biting issues.
- Jaw damage
Cysts can grow around newly formed teeth. If left untreated, they can hollow out your jaw and cause damage to your nerves.
- Sinus problems
Problems with wisdom teeth can lead to sinus pain, pressure, and congestion.
- Inflamed gums
Tissue in the surrounding area may swell and be difficult to clean.
Swollen gums can cause spaces between teeth, allowing bacteria to proliferate and cavities to form.
Affected wisdom teeth can cause crowding of other teeth and might require treatment to correct other teeth.
To make a choice, your dentist will assess the structure of your mouth and the placement of your teeth. Your age also plays a role.