Why Do Wisdom Teeth Need to Be Removed?

Wisdom teeth are the molars that emerge at the back of the mouth. They are the last teeth to appear in the mouth. Wisdom teeth do not have to be removed when they are correctly aligned and the gum tissue is healthy.

However, this is not always the case. Here are a few reasons why you may need your wisdom teeth removed:


Teeth Growing Sideways


A wisdom tooth will need to be removed if it has emerged at an odd angle. Molars that grow incorrectly do not cause problems. However, if the tooth has formed sideways or is impacted, it can cause problems. An impacted tooth remains below the gum line as it is unable to break through into the mouth. Impacted teeth can erupt in the wrong position, thereby pushing other teeth around. This can cause pain and jaw problems and can also affect the natural alignment of the teeth.


Painful Wisdom Teeth


It is important to remove wisdom teeth in cases where they cause pain. Impacted wisdom teeth can sometimes cause severe chronic pain that makes any jaw movement uncomfortable. This can make functions like eating almost impossible. Pain can also occur due to swollen gums or cysts, and this can be uncomfortable as well. Removing wisdom teeth can help prevent conditions that cause pain. 


Preventing Decay and Infections


When a partial eruption of wisdom teeth occurs, openings emerge around the teeth. This allows bacteria and plaque to accumulate and gums to harden, which eventually leads to infection. Cavities can develop as well, as the swelling, pain, and stiffness make it difficult to clean around the impacted area. Failure to remove the tooth can lead to pericoronitis gum disease. This is a soft tissue inflammation that occurs around the partially erupted tooth.


Cysts Around the Teeth


Whenever cysts form around impacted wisdom teeth, the teeth need to be removed. Cysts are sacs filled with fluid that form next to teeth. They affect the roots, nerves, bones, and surrounding structures. Cysts can destroy the jawbone and damage healthy teeth. If left unchecked, cysts can become tumors that will require surgery. Removing wisdom teeth early enough can help you avoid this scenario.


Preventing Future Problems


Dentists will often recommend the removal of wisdom teeth to prevent future dental problems. Removing these teeth while young is usually easier than waiting until the bones become harder. Early removal of wisdom teeth can help prevent dental issues in the future. Before recommending removal, dentists take x-rays and examine the mouth to see how the teeth are positioned.


There is no correct age to remove wisdom teeth. Young adults can have their wisdom teeth extracted to avoid dental problems later in life. If the teeth do not have adequate room to grow correctly, they can cause problems. Taking wisdom teeth out in adulthood is not necessary where the teeth are not causing health complications. An exam will help determine whether wisdom tooth extraction is beneficial. 


Learn more about wisdom teeth removal, visit Clarity Dental Center for Implant & Family Dentistry in Federal Way, WA at (253) 799-1490. 

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