Wisdom teeth can become a major issue for patients’ oral health. More often than not, dentists will recommend that they have their wisdom teeth removed. Many people take this information for granted without really understanding the benefits of having them removed.
This blog post will discuss the benefits of wisdom tooth removal and how it can improve your oral health. If you’re considering having your wisdom teeth extracted, make sure to speak with your dentist about the pros and cons of the procedure.
Whether you’re considering wisdom tooth removal or just want to learn more about what a wisdom tooth is, please keep reading.
- What Are Wisdom Teeth?
- What Is Wisdom Teeth Removal Surgery?
- Reasons Why You Would Need Wisdom Teeth Removal
- The Benefits of Removing a Wisdom Tooth
- How Does Wisdom Tooth Removal Keep Your Overall Health?
- Common Signs that Your Wisdom Tooth is Impacted
- Why Do Wisdom Teeth Become Impacted?
- Are There Any Consequences If I Don’t Have My Wisdom Teeth Removed?
- How Long Does It Take to Recover from Wisdom Teeth Extraction?
- Are There Any Possible Risks Involved with Wisdom Teeth Removal?
- What Are the Alternatives to Wisdom Tooth Removal?
- Final Thoughts
What Are Wisdom Teeth?
Wisdom teeth are the last teeth to appear. Wisdom teeth are also known as third molars and grow behind the mouth at the junction of the jaw, where the jaw joins together.
Not everyone will grow wisdom teeth. They often erupt during early adulthood, between the ages of 17 and 25. Most people have four wisdom teeth: two on top and two on the bottom. Some people are missing one or more wisdom teeth because of their genetics.
When wisdom teeth grow in alignment with the other teeth, they are rarely a cause for concern. Wisdom teeth, however, may get trapped in the jaw bone or gums if they don’t have enough space to develop or emerge freely. Your dentist will advise you to have wisdom tooth extraction surgery when this happens.
What Is Wisdom Teeth Removal Surgery?
Wisdom teeth removal surgery is also known as wisdom teeth extraction. It is typically an outpatient procedure done by a dentist. This means that you can go home the same day after the procedure.
During wisdom teeth removal surgery, small incisions are made in the gum tissues overlying the wisdom teeth to access them. Once the wisdom teeth are exposed, the wisdom teeth and the roots are carefully removed from the jaw using special tools and techniques.
Depending on the level of difficulty or discomfort associated with each particular case, this surgery may be done either under sedation or general anesthesia. After surgery, patients will typically experience some degree of post-surgical pain and swelling for several days, although this can be easily treated with over-the-counter pain medications.
Overall, wisdom teeth removal surgery is an effective way to help prevent future complications associated with wisdom teeth growth and help patients feel healthier and more comfortable.
Reasons Why You Would Need Wisdom Teeth Removal
Many people do not need to have their wisdom teeth removed. If they are healthy, fully erupted, and correctly positioned, they may not require removal. However, wisdom teeth often cause issues due to lack of space.
If wisdom teeth do not completely emerge, many dentists advocate extraction. Some dentists feel that wisdom teeth should be removed sooner rather than later before the roots and bone are fully developed, and recovery is more rapid after surgery.
Wisdom teeth removal may be necessary if you have one or more of the following symptoms:
- Damage to nearby teeth:
The wisdom tooth pressing against the second molar can cause harm or increase the risk of infection in that region. This pressure might also induce crowding of other teeth or necessitate orthodontic treatment to correct crooked teeth.
- Extensive tooth decay:
Wisdom teeth that are only partially impacted appear to be more prone to tooth decay or dental caries. This is probably due to the fact that wisdom teeth are more difficult to clean. Food particles and bacteria easily accumulate between the gums and a partially erupted tooth.
- Cyst Formation (fluid-filled sac):
The wisdom tooth forms in a sac within the jawbone. The sac may fill with fluid, forming a cyst that can harm the teeth, jawbone, and nerves. A tumour – usually noncancerous (benign) – occasionally forms in this situation. This problem might necessitate the extraction of tissue and bone.
- Gum disease:
Because impacted, partially erupted wisdom teeth are more difficult to clean, you’re more likely to develop pericoronitis, an uncomfortable, inflammatory gum problem.
- Pain and swelling:
These are signs of infection brought about by repeated soft tissue infections behind the wisdom tooth.
The Benefits of Removing a Wisdom Tooth
Having your wisdom teeth removed can offer many benefits, which include:
Facial and Oral Pain Relief or Prevention
Orofacial pain is one of the most common issues people confront regarding their wisdom teeth. This discomfort in your mouth and face are caused by wisdom teeth-related problems such as crowded teeth, gum disease, and tooth decay.
Gum Disease Prevention
Keeping your wisdom teeth carries a higher risk of tooth decay and gum disease. These typical issues lead to additional serious oral infections and discomfort. You also have an increased chance of suffering from bone loss and gum recession as a result of these illnesses. The earlier you have a wisdom tooth extraction, the less likely you are to suffer from these problems.
Prevents Future Orthodontic Treatment
Like all other teeth, wisdom teeth can become overcrowded and harm neighbouring teeth. Wisdom teeth can cause alignment issues over time due to a lack of space for them when they grow and erupt. Therefore, Wisdom teeth extraction lowers the likelihood that you’ll require braces or other expensive forms of orthodontic treatment to straighten misaligned teeth.
By early adulthood, your permanent molars and other adult teeth firmly anchor themselves in your jaw and gum tissues. This is why wisdom teeth wishing to emerge cause undesirable tooth movement. As a result, you experience tooth crowding. Teeth overcrowding causes a variety of ailments, including headaches.
How Does Wisdom Tooth Removal Keep Your Overall Health?
Wisdom teeth extraction may provide a variety of health benefits beyond the oral cavity, including improved dental and general health. Fact is, your oral and overall health are closely related.
A mouth infection might easily spread throughout the rest of the body, putting the patient at risk of a risky condition known as sepsis. Gum disease appears to be linked to other systemic diseases such as heart disease and diabetes. Researchers have also discovered a link between periodontal disease and certain pregnancy-related issues.
As a result, wisdom tooth extraction lowers your risk of gum disease while also improving your general health.
Wisdom tooth extraction also helps you maintain the proper alignment of your teeth, making it easier to chew and process food that keeps you healthy.
Common Signs that Your Wisdom Tooth is Impacted
An impacted wisdom tooth can cause no symptoms at all. However, impacted wisdom teeth can cause people to experience gradual or sudden symptoms.
Impacted wisdom teeth may cause the following:
- An unpleasant taste in the mouth
- Bad breath
- Bleeding, swollen, red, and sensitive gums
- Difficulty in opening the mouth wide
- Facial pain and swelling on one side
- Jaw pain and swelling
- Pain and difficulty in chewing and swallowing
- Radiating pain that causes headaches
- Swollen glands in the neck and shoulder
To make a diagnosis, your dentist will make a thorough oral examination, ask you about the symptoms you’re experiencing, and take dental x-rays.
Why Do Wisdom Teeth Become Impacted?
Impacted wisdom teeth happen due to several reasons. Common causes may be any, or a combination, of the following factors:
- There is not enough room for growth, either within the jawbone or in the mouth
- The tooth grows at the wrong angle
- The tooth fails to form correctly
- The tooth fails to erupt from the gums or the jawbone properly
Dentists describe impacted wisdom teeth using different terms. These include:
Wisdom teeth can become impacted in different ways – it is not always the same for everyone. Dentists describe impacted wisdom teeth using different terms.
- Fully impacted wisdom teeth:
This is a condition where the teeth are not visible because they are trapped entirely beneath the gums.
- Partially impacted wisdom teeth:
This is when parts of the wisdom teeth can be seen because they have emerged through the gums.
- Soft tissue impaction:
This describes a situation where the teeth have erupted from the jawbone but not from the gums.
- Hard tissue impaction:
In this, the wisdom teeth haven’t emerged from the gums or jaw.
Are There Any Consequences If I Don’t Have My Wisdom Teeth Removed?
Pain, growth issues, or gum infection may prompt the need for wisdom tooth extraction. While not every patient requires wisdom tooth surgery, problems could occur if it is not carried out.
Wisdom teeth that do not cause symptoms or dental problems may be left in place. However, if you don’t have your wisdom teeth removed, they’ll need to be monitored for the following reasons:
They have an increased risk of decay.
Wisdom teeth are just as vulnerable to decay and other dental health issues as the rest of your teeth. Those that protrude above the gum line can often be removed like any other tooth in a dental office.
They are more prone to overcrowding.
Some people have smaller mouths and jaws, leaving no room for the wisdom teeth to grow correctly. Overcrowding might occur if these teeth do erupt. The teeth will begin to shift or overlap one another as a result of wisdom tooth eruption.
They can become impacted.
Occasionally, wisdom teeth shift parallel to the jawline if they are not closely observed. They may also move backward and eventually obstruct your jaw’s opening and closing.
How Long Does It Take to Recover from Wisdom Teeth Extraction?
While wisdom teeth removal is considered a minor procedure by dentists, it can take a person about two weeks to recover completely. Depending on the tooth and the difficulty of the surgery, wisdom teeth removal can take some time.
People should see some progress every day as they recover from wisdom tooth surgery. After the surgery, the healing process may look like this:
|First 24 Hours
|Blood clot formation happens in order to stop the bleeding.
|The patient should be able to see an improvement in the swelling of the mouth and cheeks.
|If the surgery involved stitches, the dentist will remove them by this time.
|Jaw soreness and stiffness should have disappeared already.
|Mild facial bruises should heal.
Aside from pain, swelling, and bruising, the following post-surgical symptoms may be experienced:
- Bad breath
- Limited mouth opening or jaw tightness
- Lightheadedness or dizziness due to anesthesia
- Teeth sensitivity
Are There Any Possible Risks Involved with Wisdom Teeth Removal?
The majority of wisdom tooth extractions do not result in any long-term issues. Impacted wisdom teeth occasionally necessitate a surgical technique that includes making an incision in the gum tissue and removing bone, which is rare. The following are some of the risks involved with wisdom teeth removal:
Damage to nearby teeth, sinuses, nerves, or jawbone
In rare cases, surgery may cause severe pain and damage the jawbone, sinuses, nerves, or other teeth. This can lead to paralysis or pain. To repair the damage, additional oral surgery may be needed.
A dry socket occurs when a blood clot does not form over the surgical wound (socket) or dissolves or dislodges too soon. The bone and nerves are now visible. It can be excruciatingly painful, and eating may become difficult.
Food particles and bacteria can get stuck in tooth sockets and infect them. Symptoms of an infection include pain, swelling, fever, and the presence of white or yellow pus around the wound.
What Are the Alternatives to Wisdom Tooth Removal?
There are not many treatment options available for those needing wisdom tooth removal. An alternative to a wisdom tooth extraction is a coronectomy, a dental procedure that can be done in certain situations.
When is Coronectomy Done?
The roots of the wisdom tooth press on or wrap around the nerves in the lower jaw. These nerves supply sensations to the tongue, lips, and chin. If the roots and nerves are too close together, extracting the wisdom tooth could damage the nerves. Such damage may be permanent or temporary and can cause problems with speaking, eating, and negatively affect the quality of life.
What Does the Procedure Entail?
A coronectomy is the removal of a tooth’s crown while the roots are left inside the jaw. The roots are likely to have live tissue, but they should heal with the bone and move away from your nerves.
If your dentist suggests wisdom tooth extraction, you might want to inquire about a coronectomy or ask whether it’s a preferable option. Patients can typically have a basic extraction without incident, but it’s essential to speak with your dentist about all of the alternatives available to you.
The decision to have one’s wisdom teeth removed is often tough, as it carries risks and may result in complications. However, there are many oral health benefits that come along with the surgical procedure, making life more comfortable for those who have undergone the procedure.
If you’re looking for a dentist to get your wisdom teeth removed or for any other reason, look no farther than Maylands Dental Centre. We’ll be delighted to answer all of your questions and put your mind at ease. Don’t hesitate to contact us at (08) 9370 5464.