Wisdom teeth are actually a third set of molars that typically erupt at the very back of the mouth, behind the second molars. Not everyone gets wisdom teeth, but for those that do they often end up causing a variety of problems. This is usually due to the fact the most people don’t have enough room in their mouths to accommodate this third set of molars. While it’s true that some people live with their wisdom teeth for many years without issues, that’s not true the majority of the time. What follows are five of the best reasons why you should have your wisdom teeth extracted.
- Wisdom teeth often become impacted, meaning that they come in at an angle and/or only partially erupt through the gum tissue. This leads to a variety of unpleasant symptoms, including pain in and around the wisdom teeth, pain in the jaw, consistent bad breath, bleeding gums, damage to other teeth, and even bone loss.
- Wisdom teeth can increase the likelihood of gum inflammation and infection. This is especially true when wisdom teeth are partially impacted, creating a space in the mouth where bacteria collects. Because of the location of these teeth, it’s extremely difficult to adequately clean the molars and the surrounding gum tissue, making it much easier for gums to become inflamed and infected.
- Wisdom teeth often result in overcrowding. Because most people don’t have enough room in their mouths for an extra set of molars, wisdom teeth end up pushing or crowding the other existing teeth. This leads to misalignment, which can result in crooked teeth and/or an uneven bite.
- Wisdom teeth can damage other teeth. Because this third set of molars often come in at an angle, they can do a significant amount of damage to the adjacent second molars. It’s not only the wisdom teeth that are hard to clean; the existing molars next to the wisdom teeth are as well. This can mean an increased risk for cavities and bone loss.
- Impacted wisdom teeth can result in the formation of cysts and tumors in the jawbone, and that can lead to TMJ (temporomandibular joint) disorder. This condition results in headaches, jaw pain, disrupted sleep, teeth grinding, and a variety of other issues.
If you have wisdom teeth, it’s important to discuss with your dentist whether or not extraction is the best choice for you. Since most people do experience some problems as a result of this third set of molars, you may want to consider having them removed to avoid these issues. Call your dentist today to schedule a consultation.