Why do wisdom teeth need to come out?
Wisdom teeth can be positioned improperly
Wisdom teeth emerge from behind your second molars, but not everyone has space for them. If there is little room they can become misaligned or impacted, meaning they get stuck in a very awkward position. This can lead to much discomfort or pain.
Severe gum pain around wisdom teeth
Due to the very awkward position of wisdom teeth, they are very difficult to clean. This means that there tends to be much bacterial build up around them leading to gum infections and swelling. Sometimes you can just cleanse the area with salt water, but it is likely to become a recurring issue, hence the need for wisdom teeth removal.
Decay forming on the wisdom tooth or the tooth in front
Since it is difficult to clean in the very back of the mouth wisdom teeth are more likely to develop decay. If enough food gets trapped without being removed decay can also spread to the second molar, which we would prefer to keep forever! In cases where there is a risk of this happening your dentist will recommend your wisdom teeth be removed.
Wisdom teeth can have fluid-filled sacs, or cysts, developing around them which eventually affect the surrounding anatomical structures, such as roots of other teeth. If left untreated these cysts can grow very large putting you in great risk of tumours or jaw fractures.
When should I have my wisdom teeth looked at?
Most people only find out about their wisdom teeth after experiencing painful symptoms, which can lead to further complications during removal. Therefore, the best time to evaluate the condition of your wisdom teeth is in your late teens. This is because as we get older the roots will grow deeper and the bone surrounding the tooth becomes denser. This increases the difficulty in removing the wisdom teeth making the healing process longer.
You should never delay in getting your wisdom teeth checked by your dentist. The symptoms you should be mindful of include:
- Swollen gums
- Swollen lymph nodes under the jaw
- Bad breath
- Jaw stiffness
Using advanced diagnostic equipment, your dentist is in the best position to evaluate your condition and advise whether extraction is the best option.