Most of us have learned basic dental hygiene practices from a young age: brush twice a day, avoid eating too much sugar and sweets, visit the dentist every six months and so on. Once in awhile though we head out to our dentists to undergo professional dental procedures, like to for a wisdom tooth removal. At these times we cannot help but feel like they are simply there to give us grief. Our ancestors had to chew tough plants and meat and needed insurance for faster wear on their teeth. But nowadays most of us find out that our wisdom teeth are redundant, and we do not really need them at all. Find out more on why you should get your wisdom teeth removed.
Why problems can arise with wisdom teeth
Wisdom teeth are the last set of teeth that will develop in your mouth around the ages between 17 and 25. These teeth will form at the back of your jaw behind all the other teeth, and you will acquire one wisdom tooth at each corner of your mouth, totalling to four ‘Molar’ teeth. You will notice that these teeth are flatter and will be used for grinding down food, whereas the teeth at the front of your mouth will be sharper and can be used for tearing up when eating.
Because these wisdom teeth erupt so much later than the rest of our teeth they are often fully or partially stuck beneath the gums or end up ‘impacting’ your other teeth causing tooth decay.
Without wisdom teeth removal, there usually isn’t enough space for wisdom teeth to emerge, and when your wisdom tooth cannot push the other teeth aside, they turn the gums above it into a soft tissue that accumulates bacteria. This will lead to inflammation and pain. Some patients even experience lockjaw, ear aches, swollen gums etc., If left untreated, the bacterial infection in your gums will spread to the rest of your mouth and you could be facing issues with bad breath and even a bad taste in your mouth.
An impacted or partially impacted wisdom tooth, which has not come out of the gums fully will be in a tricky position right at the back of the mouth. Your toothbrush won’t be able to get to all the bacteria build up at the problem site and this can lead to an increased risk of gum disease. You can avoid the risk of infection if you remove your wisdom teeth before it erupts.
Wisdom teeth got their nickname from the age when they typically develop in. Nine out of ten people have at least one impacted wisdom tooth. This is because there is not enough room for the tooth to enter the mouth once your jaw has fully developed at a certain age. This could lead to overcrowding, misalignment and crooked teeth that do not quite fit right in your mouth causing pain, sensitivity, and discomfort. We recommend having them removed before they start knocking the other healthy teeth out of whack.
It is best to have your wisdom teeth extracted after orthodontic work. Braces are used to straighten teeth and spread them out evenly and this would result in less room in the mouth for wisdom teeth to emerge. If we do not remove the wisdom teeth at this stage, there is a chance their development will undo all the orthodontic work that was put in.
What can happen if I don’t have my wisdom teeth removed?
If you do not have any issues with your wisdom teeth, and they all come out perfectly and fit without any problem in your mouth, then you can keep them for life without having to worry about it one bit. However, should any problems arise, and you avoid having it attended to, you might just end up losing more than your back molars.
Tooth Decay spreads, and as we found out earlier, if one tooth is infected, the other teeth around it can get infected too. Losing a wisdom tooth is not a big deal, we do not ‘need’ them. But if left untreated, you could end up losing the molar next to it – which plays a more vital role.
Poor oral hygiene can be the cause for many complications later in your life. It is imperative that we do our best to take good care of the teeth we have from an early age.
Crooked and misaligned teeth can also cause issues. It is much harder to clean between teeth when the are jammed against one another. This way we cannot remove the bacteria building up in between these teeth and decay will inevitably set in. Once again, the risk with delaying your wisdom tooth extraction is that you will end up losing other, more necessary, teeth.
Do you have to pull your wisdom teeth out? The best way to find out is by booking in an appointment with our friendly team and having a chat to us today!