Many people wonder whether or not they should have their wisdom teeth removed. Around 80% of the population grow this third set of molars between 17 and 21 years of age. Believed to be an evolutionary answer to eating raw meat, vegetables, and roots, these teeth aren’t always functional. In fact, they can crowd the mouth and cause dental problems years after they grow in.
Although it’s important to listen to the advice of your dentist, some people choose to have these teeth removed to avoid potential problems in the future. The longer these teeth stick around, the greater the chance of dental problems.
The following explains common complications associated with wisdom teeth.
Pain & Swelling
Emerging wisdom teeth can cause pain in the back of the mouth. This may start off mild and get worse over time. People often experience pain on and off for months or years. Sometimes the pain becomes so bad it makes it difficult to eat and talk. This pain could be caused by the tooth pressing on the nerves inside the mouth. Pain is often accompanied by redness and swelling.
Many people don’t have enough room in their mouth for a third set of molars. The jawbone and teeth prevent the wisdom teeth from erupting. This can cause severe pain in the back of the mouth. A cyst may also be present.
Oral infection is common after wisdom teeth emerge. This is caused by bacteria entering the gums. Symptoms of an oral infection include pain, redness, swelling, jaw tenderness, bad breath, and a foul taste in the mouth. It’s important to get oral infections taken care of right away. These types of infections can spread to other parts of the body if left untreated.
Having wisdom teeth makes it harder to properly care for the teeth and gums. This is especially true for wisdom teeth that press firmly on the teeth in front of them. Not being able to properly brush or floss increases the chance of dental decay and cavities.
Sometimes wisdom teeth manage to grow in even when there isn’t enough space for them. This can cause the other teeth to shift out of place.
When to See Your Dentist
It’s important to visit your dentist at the first sign of dental pain or when you notice wisdom teeth erupting. Seeing a dentist early can help prevent problems in the future. Typically, if the patient is experiencing pain or there is not enough room for the molars to erupt, the dentist will recommend removal by an oral surgeon. Having these teeth removed can reduce the chance of infections, nerve loss, cavities, and shifting teeth.
Sometimes, wisdom teeth cause no problems at all when they erupt. The dentist might suggest a wait and see approach and recommend removal at a later date. It’s important to remember that removal becomes more difficult the longer you keep these teeth in place.
Plaque can quickly build on wisdom teeth; however brushing with a quality dental gel like LIVFRESH helps keep even hard to reach teeth clean. Please contact us for more information about our products.