Wisdom Teeth Removal: Stop health problems before they start

Many patients are tempted to postpone wisdom teeth extraction if they’re not experiencing any problematic symptoms. This decision can ultimately have negative effects on oral health, however, as the wisdom teeth can cause numerous problems in the mouth.

As human jaws have become smaller and our diets less fibrous, the wisdom teeth have become somewhat superfluous. Not only are those third molars unnecessary, the jaw often does not have room to accommodate them.

Limited space in the jaw often results in the wisdom teeth failing to erupt completely. When wisdom teeth are impacted, it is more challenging to extract them. In fact, an oral surgeon often must be involved in a wisdom tooth extraction to remove excess bone before extracting the teeth.

When left in place, impacted wisdom teeth can cause a number of problems. It is very difficult to keep the area at the back of the mouth sufficiently clean when a patient has partially erupted wisdom teeth. As such, the wisdom teeth can become a haven for oral bacteria, increasing the risk of gum disease, infection and abscesses.

Impacted wisdom teeth may develop tumors or cysts. The wisdom teeth can also cause discomfort as they continue to attempt to erupt. Additionally, impacted wisdom teeth can knock the other teeth out of alignment, undoing years of orthodontic treatment.

To prevent these negative outcomes, many dentists and oral surgeons recommend that patients have their wisdom teeth removed by age 25, even if the wisdom teeth are not symptomatic. It is impossible to predict when a problem will develop with the wisdom teeth, but removing them offers some protection against those issues.

The wisdom tooth extraction procedure tends to be easier in patients under age 25 because the roots are shorter and not as deeply entrenched in the jaw. Younger patients also tend to recover more quickly from the procedure.

If you are an adult and have not yet had your wisdom teeth removed, consult with our oral surgeons at Ford Moore Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery to move forward with treatment planning.