The wisdom teeth are the last teeth in the mouth to erupt. They generally do so when a person is between the ages of 17 and 25. For some people, their wisdom teeth do not affect them when they erupt because they have enough room in their mouth to accommodate the new teeth.
However, other people are in a lot of pain when their wisdom teeth erupt because there is no room for them in the mouth. This causes crowding in some cases and the failure of the teeth to fully erupt in others.
Why should I have my wisdom teeth extracted?
Getting wisdom teeth extracted is very common for a lot of people, but not everyone does it. In most cases, people do not have to have their wisdom teeth extracted if they are:
- Able to be flossed
- Positioned correctly
- Fully erupted
Extracting wisdom teeth
As previously mentioned, in most cases, there is not enough room in the mouth for the wisdom teeth to grow properly. That leads to problems with the other teeth and some pain.
Depending on the amount of room in the mouth, wisdom teeth can erupt at various angles, causing problems like:
Remaining hidden in the jaw
This occurs when the wisdom teeth are unable to emerge normally, which leaves them trapped within the jaw. In some cases, the hidden wisdom teeth can cause infection or a cyst that can damage the roots of other teeth or bone support.
Partially erupt through the gums
When this happens, the area the teeth partially erupt from is difficult to see and clean. This leads to the wisdom teeth creating a passageway that can become a magnet for bacteria, which can lead to gum disease and oral infection.
Crowding nearby teeth
When the wisdom teeth do not have enough room to grow properly, they may end up crowding or damaging the nearby teeth.
If the wisdom teeth cause any of the problems listed, the dentist will recommend extracting the teeth to prevent further damage to the remaining teeth and to prevent infection and gum disease. However, most dentists recommend extracting wisdom teeth at a younger age because the tooth roots have not yet fully developed and the bone surrounding the teeth is still soft, making it easier to extract the teeth.
Having the wisdom teeth extracted at a younger age also means that the recovery period after the surgery goes faster. If the patient waits until they are older to get the teeth extracted, they will be in a lot more pain after the procedure because the tooth roots and surrounding bone would be stronger and the nerves in the teeth will be fully developed.
Getting your wisdom teeth extracted may be necessary if you are in a lot of pain because of the eruption of the teeth or if the teeth can cause damage to the other teeth in your mouth. If your wisdom teeth cause a lot of pain, schedule an appointment with your dentist to find out if extraction is your best option.
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