Why Do You Remove Wisdom Teeth?

Concerned woman suffering from wisdom tooth pain

Wisdom teeth removal is a standard practice among young adults, removing their four wisdom teeth permanently. But why do we have these teeth that we are just going to remove? And, why do we remove them in the first place?

In this blog, we will answer all of your burning questions about wisdom teeth, including why removal is highly recommended by oral and maxillofacial surgeons.

What Are Wisdom Teeth?

Wisdom teeth, also called third molars, are four permanent teeth. Almost everyone has them, but it’s possible to have none at all. They are the last teeth that will emerge from your mouth, coming in behind your molar teeth.

Wisdom teeth erupt during the teenage years, whereas your typical adult teeth emerge at a younger age. Wisdom teeth are the last to erupt because they are usually not fully formed until you are anywhere from 18 to 25 years old. As a result, most patients do not need to have their wisdom teeth pulled until they reach early adulthood. However, some people will need them to be extracted earlier because they could be negatively impacting their oral health before they emerge.

Why Wisdom Teeth Removal Is Needed

We will explain some of the many reasons why wisdom teeth need to be removed below. This will help you get a better idea as to why many dentists recommend surgical removal of your wisdom teeth.

1. Wisdom Teeth Are Impacted

Impacted wisdom teeth are teeth that are unable to grow properly. They either become stuck under the gums, unable to fully emerge, or they can only partially break through the gum line.

Wisdom teeth become impacted because the jaw bone does not have enough room for the third set of molars. As a result, these wisdom teeth grow at various angles, making them difficult to erupt.

Oral surgery is needed for impacted wisdom teeth because, if they remain in your mouth, they can cause severe pain, inflamed gums, and other issues.

2. May Cause Damage To Nearby Teeth

Wisdom teeth tend to erupt closely to other molars. If they are too close or growing at odd angles, they can damage adjacent teeth. Neighbouring teeth can be scratched, broken or chipped. They can also be crowded or pushed by a wisdom tooth, placing them under pressure.

Wisdom teeth extraction will protect other teeth from being broken, chipped, or damaged. Other teeth will have plenty of room, making chewing, brushing, and flossing easier.

Mouth interior with cheek scars from impacted wisdom teeth

3. Wisdom Teeth May Not Fit Properly

Some individuals may not have enough room in their mouths for another set of molars—which is exactly what wisdom teeth are.

Fully erupted wisdom teeth could be pressed too close to the soft tissue of their mouths, meaning they could cut gums and cause oral infection. Wisdom teeth may also cause bite problems, making it difficult for patients to close their jaw correctly.

Patients with small mouths have their wisdom teeth removed before their wisdom teeth emerge because early removal will help protect their oral health.

4. Sinus Pain

Did you know that issues with your wisdom teeth can cause sinus issues? The root from an upper wisdom tooth can push against the sinuses in the jaw. As a result, your wisdom teeth can cause sinus congestion, pain, and pressure. Removing wisdom teeth is the main course of treatment.

5. Increased Risk of Developing Cavities

X-ray of impacted wisdom tooth about to grow in

When your wisdom teeth are erupting, your gums will become inflamed. While this is completely normal, it does risk creating pockets of swelling. A swollen area risks trapping bacteria, making it difficult to remove. If bacteria rests on teeth for too long, it could cause tooth decay and form a cavity.

Wisdom teeth management will reduce the risk of developing cavities, thus protecting your oral health.

6. Wisdom Teeth Could Cause Gum Disease

Periodontal disease, better known as gum disease, is a devastating infection that can compromise soft tissue and bone. When bacteria build on gums, they will become infected and weaken. As a result, teeth can loosen and fall out.

Wisdom teeth can increase the chances of periodontitis because when they do not have room to emerge, they will only partially break through the gums. This can cause inflammation and infection, which could later cause gum disease. Extraction is a sure way to prevent periodontitis.

Wisdom Tooth Removal Surgery Is Simple

Many patients are scared of surgery because they think it will be painful. In reality, Wisdom tooth extraction surgery is a relatively easy procedure performed by a maxillofacial surgeon, also called an oral surgeon.

After being recommended by a dentist, the surgeon will take an x-ray, confirm the placement, and then prep for surgery. Local anesthesia will numb the mouth to ensure that patients do not feel any pain during the procedure. General anesthesia will also ensure that the patient is comfortable. Patients will not feel anything as the surgeon locates and extracts their third molars. Afterward, patients will have some stitches that they will need to let heal for several weeks.

Get Your Wisdom Teeth Removed

Orchard Park Dental is a dental practice in Stoney Creek, Ontario. Our dentists have experience with wisdom teeth removal and completing extractions. We can help remove your wisdom teeth before they emerge, crowd your opposing teeth, or cause any other problems. Phone our office today to speak to a dentist and book your appointment!

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