Posted by Dr. Julie Boudreault On 25-10-2023
There's a reason dentists recommend wisdom teeth extractions to most patients: wisdom teeth can cause a wide array of serious oral health issues. Wisdom teeth were functional earlier in human history. Our ancestors could grind and chew tough food because of their wisdom teeth. Nowadays, we no longer need wisdom teeth for survival. The very presence of your wisdom teeth can create problems.
For most patients, wisdom teeth extractions are necessary for long-term oral health. It's the best way to prevent infection, disease, and damage to your existing teeth.
Why Wisdom Teeth Are a Problem
Since wisdom teeth don't erupt until between the ages of 17 and 25, the rest of your adult teeth are already in the proper position (ideally). When wisdom teeth emerge, they can damage the other adult teeth and push them out of alignment.
Simply put, most people do not have sufficient room in their mouths for their wisdom teeth. Moreover, wisdom teeth can emerge at strange angles, further complicating oral health.
Abnormally positioned wisdom teeth are called "impacted." If they only manage to emerge partially, they are referred to as "partially impacted." These teeth are highly problematic. They can be painful since they place pressure on your gums and surrounding teeth. It is also much harder to clean partially erupted wisdom teeth. Consequently, impacted wisdom teeth are easily infected and can form abscesses.
Wisdom Tooth Extraction is Prevention
Ultimately, having your wisdom teeth extracted helps prevent other oral health complications. Crowded and misaligned teeth can put a real damper on your smile. However, they can also be harder to keep clean. This factor increases your risk for cavities, tooth decay, and gum disease.
Furthermore, impacted wisdom teeth can lead to pericoronitis, an extreme wisdom tooth infection. Impacted wisdom teeth are painful, and the infection can spread to other body parts.
Wisdom teeth can also cause other problems, such as jaw damage and sinus problems. Removing your wisdom teeth early on can prevent these painful and adverse conditions from developing in the first place.
It's also easier to remove wisdom teeth during young adulthood. As you age, your jawbone gets harder, and teeth become tougher to remove. Younger patients also recover faster after surgery.
The sooner you can have your wisdom tooth extraction, the easier it will be.
7 Reasons to Have Your Wisdom Teeth Removed
1. Pain and sensitivity
Wisdom teeth hurt when they erupt. However, they hurt even more if they become impacted. A toothache is never a good thing–and can point to something far more sinister.
If you experience intense pain, discomfort, or sensitivity in the back of your mouth, then it likely means that your wisdom teeth have started to emerge. If they erupt at an angle, they place pressure on the neighbouring teeth. This pressure can lead to crowding and even more sensitivity.
2. Overcrowding and damage to nearby teeth
Modern human jawbones are much smaller than they used to be. In the past, wisdom teeth were essential for grinding raw vegetables and meat. However, times have changed. Not only are they no longer necessary, but there needs to be more room in most people's mouths for wisdom teeth.
As a result, wisdom teeth can damage neighbouring teeth when they emerge. Your other teeth can be pushed out of position, leading to overcrowding, misalignment, pain, and bite problems. Additionally, crowded teeth can be harder to brush and floss effectively, increasing the likelihood of cavities.
You may also need to undergo orthodontic treatment to straighten your smile after the damage unleashed by your wisdom teeth.
3. Jaw damage and pain
Impacted wisdom teeth can damage your jaw, too. They can make opening and closing your mouth extremely painful. You may experience persistent jaw aches, neck pain and ear aches. Cysts can also form around newly erupted teeth, damaging surrounding nerves and hollowing your jaw.
4. Gum inflammation
When wisdom teeth emerge at an angle, this can irritate and inflame your gums. As your gums swell and redden, they become sensitive and sore to the touch. Brushing and flossing becomes painful, and keeping your teeth clean becomes much more complicated. These are prime conditions for infection, cavities, and tooth decay.
5. Harder to clean
Since wisdom teeth are at the back of the mouth, they're harder to clean than other teeth. Consequently, even wisdom teeth that have emerged straight without impacting the neighbouring teeth can still compromise oral health. It's more challenging to clean partially erupted and impacted wisdom teeth.
If you're unable to brush and floss your wisdom teeth properly, there's a high likelihood that you will develop cavities or infections. You could develop pericoronitis (inflammation of the gums around a wisdom tooth), periodontitis (gum disease), or another serious oral health condition.
Due to the increased risk of infections and tooth decay, it's a good idea to remove your wisdom teeth even if you have ample room in your mouth.
6. Sinus problems
Your wisdom teeth are very close to your sinuses. They're so close that the roots of your wisdom teeth can put pressure on your sinus area. This pressure can cause sinus pain, ear aches, and congestion. Furthermore, infection in your wisdom teeth can spread quickly to your sinuses.
7. Prevent serious oral health complications
As you can see, wisdom teeth can cause many serious oral health complications. That's why dentists recommend wisdom teeth extractions for so many patients. Without wisdom teeth, you are less likely to develop extensive tooth decay, pericoronitis, gum disease, cysts, jaw damage, serious infections, and more.
Wisdom Tooth Extraction in Milton
Many of our patients in Milton will require at least one wisdom tooth extraction. It's best to do these extractions earlier in life when your recovery time is faster and there are fewer risks of complications after surgery.
If you're between 17 and 25, you should schedule an appointment with Milltown Dental so we can take a closer look at your emerging wisdom teeth. Then, we can determine if you need a wisdom tooth extraction and discuss your options. Postponing a required extraction can lead to severe oral health issues–and ruin your perfect smile!
Milltown Dental offers fast and pain-free wisdom tooth removal using modern techniques and technologies. We want your experience to be as comfortable as possible. Contact us today if you have any questions.