The last adult teeth to erupt in the mouth, the wisdom teeth, can often become impacted or cause complications requiring a wisdom tooth extraction. This procedure is typically performed by an experienced dental professional and can usually take place in a dental office. There are two main reasons why wisdom teeth may need to be removed.
No room to grow
Many people need a wisdom tooth extraction before the teeth even erupt due to the size of the mouth or the size of the teeth.
An individual with a smaller mouth may not have room for the wisdom teeth to erupt without causing damage to existing teeth. A dental professional can typically tell from an X-ray whether the incoming wisdom teeth will result in overcrowding and painful teeth shifting. This can be particularly concerning as it can also affect the bite and make braces or other more extreme measures necessary to push the teeth back into the proper place.
In cases where the mouth size is not an issue, there can still be a problem if the wisdom teeth are too large. Allowing disproportionate wisdom teeth to emerge can also cause shifting and crowding of the existing teeth. Because wisdom teeth generally do not erupt until a person is between 17 and 25 years old, this can result in the reversal of previous dental work such as braces. Most people who have had to get braces do not want to risk the teeth returning to their original state or worse.
Cause issues with the mouth
In addition to the issues wisdom teeth can create with existing teeth, allowing these teeth to erupt can also cause other oral issues.
Because wisdom teeth can push the other teeth aside and result in shifting, which impacts the gums around the teeth, the following gum conditions may also arise:
- Bleeding gums
- Tender gums
- Swollen gums
- Red gums
The combination of overcrowding and gum issues can lead to bad breath and a bad taste in the mouth. If the gums are allowed to remain in an unhealthy state, gum disease can develop and affect the health of the teeth and cause even further oral damage.
Pain and swelling in the jawbone can arise from teeth shifting and crowding as the wisdom teeth erupt. If left untreated, these complications can make it difficult for the mouth to open and close. This can affect many facets of life, from eating and drinking to talking and smiling. Until the wisdom teeth are removed, the jaw problems will most likely continue to deteriorate.
Although it may seem unappealing to have the wisdom teeth removed, the potential consequences of leaving them in the mouth can be far more serious. To avoid pain, gum disease, shifting teeth, jaw trouble, and the possibility of other dental issues, getting a wisdom tooth extraction can be a wise decision.
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