Wisdom Teeth, or third molars, are the most posterior teeth on both sides of the upper and lower jaw. They usually erupt between the ages of 17 and 25. When wisdom teeth do not erupt in the mouth in a normal fashion or are blocked from eruption, they are said to be impacted. Impaction can be partial where the wisdom tooth can be partially seen in the mouth to full where it is not at all visible.
Wisdom teeth are notorious for causing dental emergencies including pain, infection, damage to adjacent teeth, etc. Since they rarely provide any function, it is advisable to get them removed before they cause problems because a problematic wisdom teeth may cause difficulty during extraction. The best time to get wisdom teeth removed is when they are still developing. A developing wisdom teeth has short roots, and the bone around it lacks density, making the procedure easy and minimizing chances of complications.
The American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons (AAOMS) came up with top ten reasons why wisdom teeth should be removed. Below is a summary of them:
The Top Ten Reasons to Remove Wisdom Teeth
10. Even if your wisdom teeth don’t bother you, infection and inflammation are more likely to occur in the gums surrounding them as they are hard to clean. Once the inflammation begins, it is difficult to eliminate and may spread to adjoining teeth.
9. Some studies have also linked preterm or low birthweight infants to oral inflammation associated with wisdom teeth.
8. Wisdom teeth are usually non-functional even if they fully erupt through the gums.
7. Cysts and tumors associated with impacted wisdom teeth require complex procedures to remove. The removal of such lesions requires extensive procedures to repair and restore jaw function and appearance
6. As you grow older, there are higher chances of complications associated with wisdom teeth extraction. So you should have them extracted at a younger age.
5. Since wisdom teeth are hard to keep clean, the adjoining gum tissue becomes inflamed and results in gum tissue recession, loss of jawbone height and in severe cases, tooth loss.
4. Wisdom teeth may contribute to the crowding of nearby teeth.
3. Even wisdom teeth that seem to be problem-free (asymptomatic) remain a breeding ground for oral infection and inflammation. Research supports the concept that such inflammation may enter the bloodstream and contribute to the development and/or progression of a variety of diseases, including diabetes, cardiovascular disease and stroke.
2. If a wisdom tooth will not successfully erupt into your mouth and be maintained in a healthy state, its early removal will lead to a faster, easier recovery.
1. However, the number one reason for removing your wisdom teeth is Peace of Mind.