Wisdom teeth are the third set of molars that typically come in between ages 17 and 25. In some cases, these teeth can cause overcrowding, pain, infection, or other oral health issues, making wisdom teeth removal a necessary option for many people.
Understanding the risks and benefits of wisdom teeth removal is important for making an informed decision.
What are wisdom teeth?
Wisdom teeth are the third set of molars located at the back of the mouth. They usually start to come in during late adolescence and early adulthood and are not always necessary for a healthy smile.
Sometimes wisdom teeth can cause overcrowding, pain, or other issues, so it is important to understand the risks and benefits of removing them.
Why is removing them important?
Removing wisdom teeth can be essential for maintaining optimal oral health and preventing additional issues from occurring. When overcrowding occurs due to the presence of wisdom teeth, it can cause gums to become sore and inflamed.
This can lead to infection, overcrowding of other teeth, and difficulty in properly cleaning the area.
Furthermore, impacted or partially erupted wisdom teeth may be difficult or impossible to keep clean, which increases the risk of tooth decay and gum disease. Removing these teeth can help patients avoid these potential risks while preserving their smile and oral health.
The Risks of Wisdom Teeth Removal
Pain and discomfort during/after the procedure
Pain and discomfort associated with wisdom teeth removal vary from person to person and can range from moderate to severe.
Most people experience some amount of pain during the procedure, as well as soreness afterward.
However, most patients report that this pain is manageable with pain medications prescribed by their doctor.
Following the procedure, patients may experience swelling, bruising, and bleeding in the area around the mouth which should subside within a few days.
To help manage any potential discomfort after surgery, it is important to follow all post-operative instructions provided by your doctor.
Increased risk of infection or injury to adjacent teeth, jawbone or nerves
Removing wisdom teeth can increase the risk of infection or injury to adjacent teeth, jawbone, and nerves.
If a tooth is not removed properly it can result in damage to neighboring teeth, bone, and soft tissue. In some cases, nerves may be injured during the extraction process, resulting in numbness or tingling in the face, lips, and tongue.
To reduce the risk of such complications occurring, it is important that wisdom tooth extraction be performed by an experienced dentist who can use their skill and judgment to ensure a successful outcome.
Swelling and bruising of the gums and lips
Swelling and bruising of the gums and lips are common side effects after wisdom teeth removal. Swelling usually peaks around the third day after surgery and can last for up to two weeks.
Ice packs may help reduce swelling in the area during this time, as well as help manage any pain or discomfort caused by inflammation.
Bruising of the gums is also common following wisdom teeth extraction, however, this should subside within a few days or weeks depending on the severity.
The Benefits of Wisdom Teeth Removal
Improved oral hygiene and healthier gums
Improved oral hygiene and healthier gums are often a result of having wisdom teeth extracted. Removing problem wisdom teeth can help improve the alignment of the teeth and jaws, making it easier to properly brush and floss the remaining teeth.
This can contribute to fewer cavities, reduced plaque buildup, fresher breath, and an overall healthier mouth.
Additionally, with the problematic wisdom teeth removed, gum disease is less likely to develop in the area.
Reducing overcrowding in the mouth, making room for other permanent teeth to come in properly
Removing wisdom teeth can help reduce overcrowding in the mouth, making room for other permanent teeth to come in properly.
Without enough space, some permanent teeth may not erupt correctly or may become impacted, leading to possible pain and irritation of the surrounding area. Removing wisdom teeth helps not only reduce overcrowding but also makes brushing and flossing easier and more effective.
By removing the extra set of molars, oral hygiene becomes less tedious and more effective at keeping the mouth healthy.
Prevention of impacted wisdom teeth from getting infected or causing problems with adjacent teeth
Prevention of impacted wisdom teeth from getting infected or causing issues with adjacent teeth is best accomplished by having them removed.
When wisdom teeth become impacted, they can put pressure on the adjacent teeth and cause them to shift. This shifting can lead to overcrowding and create a risk of cavities and other dental problems.
Additionally, when wisdom teeth are impacted, they have a higher chance of becoming infected due to their location in the back of the mouth, often making it difficult to properly clean the area.
Removing these impacted teeth helps avoid infection and keeps adjacent teeth healthy.
Considerations When Deciding if Removing Wisdom Teeth is Necessary
Determine if wisdom teeth are healthy and need to be removed.
A dentist can determine if wisdom teeth are healthy and need to be removed through a thorough dental exam.
X-rays are usually taken that can help illustrate the positioning of any impacted teeth and how they may be affecting any other surrounding teeth.
If a patient is experiencing pain or discomfort in the mouth, it could be an indication of impacted wisdom teeth and a doctor should be consulted.
X-rays will allow the dentist to determine if there is enough space for the teeth to erupt correctly, or if they need to be removed as soon as possible.
Consult a dentist or oral surgeon to make sure removing wisdom teeth will not cause further health complications.
It is important to consult with a dentist or oral surgeon before deciding on whether or not to remove impacted wisdom teeth.
Removing them without seeking professional medical advice can cause further health complications, such as pain, nerve damage, and bone loss in the jaw.
A dentist or oral surgeon will be able to assess the situation and provide an opinion on if it is safe to proceed with the removal.
The risk of complications increases when removal is done without proper guidance and supervision. It is always safest to check with a doctor before making any decisions about wisdom teeth removal.
It is important to understand the risks and benefits associated with wisdom teeth removal. While this type of procedure can bring relief from pain or discomfort, there are also potential complications.
Consulting with a dentist or oral surgeon is advised in order to weigh the pros and cons of removal, as they will be able to provide personalized advice that is tailored to each individual’s case.
In any situation, it is essential to carefully assess the risks and benefits before making any decisions regarding wisdom teeth removal.