One thing dentists keep on the lookout for during dental appointments is the growth of wisdom teeth or third molars. Wisdom teeth are generally visible in individuals aged between 17 and 25 and can cause intense discomfort and sinus problems, among other issues. While wisdom teeth removal isn’t necessary for every patient, problems can arise if they’re left to their own devices.
To prevent any mishap, we have made a list of some reasons as to why you should have your wisdom teeth taken out.
1. Impacted Wisdom Teeth
When wisdom teeth are impacted, they get trapped under your gum line. Impacted wisdom teeth are susceptible to infection and abscess, causing severe pain and discomfort. They can also lead to tooth decay, resorption of healthy teeth, and exacerbate your dental hygiene. In some instances, especially when their growth is left unmonitored, they can also realign parallel to the jawline and hinder the movement of your jaw. These are the major reasons why wisdom tooth removal is important to keep you healthy.
2. Incorrect Growth
In some cases, when wisdom teeth grow in, they crowd the mouth. Before their onset, the human mouth comprises 28 teeth. After their emergence, this number climbs to 32, which makes your mouth stuffed and causes discomfort and pain. Braces or surgical procedures are unable to fix this overcrowding, and sometimes the only choice left is removal of these teeth. Dentists first determine which of these teeth are causing problems using X-rays, and then proceed to the removal. In some cases, they might even have to perform removal of all wisdom teeth to rectify incorrect growth.
3. Inflamed Gums
A flap of gum tissue adjacent to a tooth springs up sometimes when the wisdom tooth starts springing up. As a result, bacterial contaminants and bacteria can get trapped in these gums, and inflame and harden neighboring tissues, making them difficult to clean. This condition is called pericoronitis and is also prevalent in the areas around your wisdom teeth underneath your gums.
4. Difficulty Eating
If you experience difficulty while chewing or eating something, it’s a tell-tale sign you need to get rid of your wisdom teeth. Food trapped between your gums and the spaces between your teeth can cause swelling. You might not be able to clean well enough with a toothpick or brushing, which may also lead to additional problems.
Getting in touch with your dentist to get to the root of this problem is the recommended course of action. If the problem persists, you might have to turn to extraction as a last resort.
5. Cyst Formation
A cyst forms when a sac next to the teeth fills up with fluid. If left unchecked, this cyst can damage roots, bones, and neighboring structures. In some severe cases, it might even develop into a tumor and require additional corrective surgery.
If you experience any signs of a cyst, contact your dentist and consider removing your wisdom teeth if the need arises.
6. Misaligned Teeth
If the wisdom teeth develop crookedly, they can affect the alignment of the surrounding teeth. In some cases, they might even damage them. Extraction can remedy this problem and give your mouth a smile to shine and room to breathe.
Multiple theories suggest the reason why wisdom teeth grow crooked and nonlinear. According to one such theory, our jaws don’t have enough room to accommodate the 3rd molar. Therefore, they allow other teeth to cram against each other, and lead to an unnatural assembly.
7. Sinus Problems
Sinus problems are expected with the emergence of wisdom teeth. Especially when these teeth on the upper jaw develop and grow, they bump against the sinuses and graze and push against them, pressuring them into a corner. Even though this doesn’t happen that often, it can lead to headaches, congestions, sinus pain, and pressure. So, keep on the lookout for these symptoms, especially if you have wisdom teeth growing in.
The wisdom tooth’s location can significantly impact the bacterial activity on your tooth’s cleaning surfaces. If your gums become irritated, little spaces can open up between your teeth and make it a perfect habitat for bacterial populations to flourish. This proliferation results in the development of cavities, which can then cause infection.
9. Complications During Pregnancy
Pregnant women should look into the possibility of having their wisdom teeth removed, if they already haven’t. Refusing to go through this procedure may increase the likelihood of low-fetal birth weight and preterm birth defects. Many studies have found a direct link between periodontal disease and preterm birth issues and significantly low birth weights.
Wisdom teeth are located far off from the uterus, so many women assume that they have no role to play in the pregnancy. However, that is not the case. Erupted wisdom teeth, because of their concealed location, attract bacteria and become a breeding ground for infection and inflammation. Infact, impacted wisdom teeth provide a perfect habitat for low-grade chronic bacterial infections to flourish and launch attacks in the rest of the body.
These bacteria have the ability to travel long distances, from the mouth all the way to the reproductive organs. Once in these locations, they trigger the release of compounds that cause premature contractions.
When inflammation occurs in the tissues surrounding the wisdom teeth, the tissues release an army of molecules called cytokines in response. Cytokines move gradually in the women’s bloodstream, and eventually reach the uterus, where they release prostaglandins and other harmful chemicals, which weaken fetal membranes, and increase their susceptibility to rupturing.
Aside from preterm birth defects, another medical condition by the name of preeclampsia, which induces high blood pressure in pregnant women is also related to impacted wisdom teeth. Even wisdom teeth that seemingly pose no harm can sometimes cause complications during pregnancy.
Wisdom teeth can cause a host of problems, from incorrect growth to pericoronitis and crooked alignment. If you’re facing these problems, getting your wisdom teeth out may provide you the relief to ease your mind. Especially if you’re in a lot of discomfort and pain, you should seriously consider getting a dentist appointment.