How Wisdom Tooth Extraction Contributes to Optimal Oral Health
Third molars, more commonly known as wisdom teeth, got their name because they erupt when you are older, contrary to the rest of your adult teeth. Not everyone has wisdom teeth, but if you do, chances are you may eventually need them removed.
Most often than not, wisdom teeth become impacted or crowd your neighboring teeth, resulting in pain and discomfort. Neglecting this can lead to other serious dental and overall health concerns in the future.
Why Would I Need to Have My Wisdom Teeth Removed?
The removal of third molars is a common procedure designed to protect your oral health.
If you are experiencing any of the following symptoms, you may require wisdom tooth extraction:
- Jaw pain and swelling
- Tender, red, and inflamed gums
- Bad breath
Before these symptoms occur, your trusted dental professional should be able to tell you if your wisdom teeth are causing, or going to cause dental complications.
How is My Oral Health Affected if I Don’t Remove My Wisdom Teeth?
An average jaw has enough space to hold 28 teeth. If you have four wisdom teeth erupting in your mouth, your jaw lacks sufficient space for to fit. If you have had orthodontic work in the past, there is probably even less space to fit these additional teeth. Due to the lack of room, third molars commonly become impacted or misaligned.
This can lead to oral health complications such as:
- Infection- When a tooth is unable to fully erupt, it can cause an infection called pericoronitis. Pericoronitis occurs when bacteria from food and plaque get trapped in between your gums and the impacted tooth, inflaming it and potentially causing pain, swelling, and fever. If left untreated, the infection can spread and lead to life-threatening conditions like Ludwig’s angina and sepsis.
- Shifting of surrounding teeth- If your wisdom teeth are misaligned or emerging sideways, they can cause your other teeth to shift. This movement can change your bite alignment, which can, in turn, lead to a variety of other dental problems like jaw pain, tooth sensitivity, and gum disease.
- Tumors- Sometimes, a sac filled with fluid will form next to a wisdom tooth, creating a cyst. If left untreated, the cyst can cause the roots of the tooth – and even bone – to deteriorate. These cysts can also turn into tumors that can only be removed via surgery.
If you have any concerns regarding your wisdom teeth, talk to your trusted dental professional. He or she can help you decide whether your wisdom teeth need to be extracted, and when. If you think that your wisdom teeth are causing you problems, contact your specialized dental care provider immediately. Wisdom teeth can quickly cause complications in your oral and overall health.
At Lorton Springfield Dental Implant & Oral Surgery, Dr. Snehal Patel and his capable team perform accurate and gentle wisdom tooth extractions to help ensure the longevity of your oral health and beautiful smile. For more information, contact our office today!