Wisdom teeth (third molars) are the last teeth that erupt in the back of your mouth, usually between the ages of 17 and 25. While some people experience no problems with these teeth, others have to deal with various issues like pain, infection, gum disease, and damage to adjacent teeth. It is often recommended to extract wisdom teeth to prevent these complications from occurring. Early wisdom teeth intervention can offer many benefits, and we will explore some of them in this post.
Wisdom teeth typically emerge in a person’s late teens or early twenties. While some people can keep their wisdom teeth without any problems, others may face issues that require extraction.
Wisdom teeth can cause pain, infection, crowding, and damage to nearby teeth. In some cases, they may grow at an angle or partially emerge, leading to inflammation, infection, and gum disease. Additionally, if there isn’t enough space in the mouth for them to grow properly, they can become impacted, which can cause further complications.
Therefore, if a dentist determines that a patient’s wisdom teeth could pose a risk to their oral health, they may recommend removal. Wisdom teeth extraction helps prevent future dental problems and improve overall oral health.
Benefits of Early Wisdom Teeth Extraction
Dentists and oral surgeons highly recommend early wisdom tooth extraction for several reasons. Here are some of the benefits of early wisdom tooth extraction:
Less Complicated Procedure
Wisdom teeth extraction at a younger age is generally less complicated than if done later in life. Because wisdom teeth roots are not fully formed yet, they are easier to remove at a younger age.
Prevent Damage To Nearby Teeth
Wisdom teeth can damage other teeth over time as they grow. They can push teeth out of alignment, causing crowding, and even lead to tooth decay or gum disease. Early extraction can help prevent these problems from occurring.
Decrease The Possibility Of Oral Disease & Inflammation
Wisdom teeth can cause gum inflammation or infection, leading to serious oral health problems if left untreated. Early extraction can help decrease the possibility of inflammation, infection, and other oral diseases.
Protection of Other Teeth From Damage
Wisdom teeth can create much pressure on other teeth in the mouth, which can cause them to shift or become damaged. Early extraction helps protect other teeth from potential harm.
Faster Healing Time
Younger people heal faster than older people. It means recovery time is typically shorter when wisdom teeth are removed earlier.
Risks of Delaying Wisdom Teeth Extraction
Delaying wisdom teeth extraction can lead to various risks and complications. The longer you leave your wisdom teeth untreated, the greater the likelihood of experiencing pain, soreness, and pressure in the affected area. Here are some of the risks associated with delaying wisdom teeth extraction:
- Infection: Wisdom teeth that are left untreated can become infected. It can result in swelling, pain, and abscesses, which may require further treatment.
- Crowding: If your wisdom teeth do not have enough space to emerge, they can cause overcrowding in your mouth, leading to misaligned teeth, bite problems, and gum disease.
- Damage to adjacent teeth: Impacted or crowded wisdom teeth can pressure the adjacent teeth, causing damage to them. It leads to decay, gum disease, and even loss of teeth.
- Cysts and tumours: Wisdom teeth that do not emerge properly can also develop cysts or tumours, damaging the jawbone and teeth surrounding the area.
- Nerve damage: Wisdom teeth removal later in life increases the risk of irritation or damage to the mandibular nerve. Patients with nerve damage can experience numbness, tingling, or pain in their face, chin, and tongue.
Signs That It May Be Time to Consider Wisdom Teeth Extraction
While some people may have enough space in their mouths to accommodate these new teeth, many others experience various problems that require extraction. Here are some common signs that it may be time to consider wisdom teeth extraction:
- Pain and Discomfort: Discomfort in your back molars could indicate impacted or infected wisdom teeth.
- Gum Inflammation: Wisdom teeth can cause inflammation in the gums, leading to redness, swelling, and tenderness.
- Stiff Jaw: Difficulty opening your mouth or experiencing stiffness in your jaw could indicate that your wisdom teeth are causing an issue.
- Oral Cysts: In some cases, the sacs that hold wisdom teeth can fill with fluid, forming cysts that can damage nearby teeth roots and bone tissue.
- Crowding: Wisdom teeth can cause overcrowding of your other teeth, leading to shifting and misalignment.
- Repeated Infections: If you have a history of developing recurrent infections in the area behind your last tooth, it may be a sign that your wisdom teeth need to be extracted.
- Sinus Issues: Pain or pressure in the sinuses can be another sign that wisdom teeth impact the surrounding bones.
- Decay: Wisdom teeth are located at the back of the mouth and are difficult to clean properly, making them more prone to decay and cavities.
- Headaches: In some cases, wisdom teeth can cause headaches due to the pressure on surrounding structures.
Extracting wisdom teeth can be a complex procedure, and it’s not to be undertaken lightly. However, it is, for many people, the only way to ensure they don’t experience any complications that can come with them. Early intervention for wisdom teeth offers many benefits and can ensure less pain and stress. It’s important to take your dentist’s advice seriously if they recommend removing your wisdom teeth, as this could lead to fewer dental problems in later life.