Wisdom teeth are the third set of molars that appear in the back of your jaw, usually arriving in your late teens or early twenties. People usually have four: two on the top and two on the bottom. Dentists regularly recommend that patients have their wisdom teeth removed before problems arise. While wisdom teeth don’t always result in dental problems, they can contribute to overcrowding and become impacted.
There are five common reasons that your dentist in NW Calgary may recommend that you have your wisdom teeth removed.
It’ll leave more room for the rest of your teeth
By the time that wisdom teeth erupt in people’s late teens or twenties, they already have well-developed rear molars. Healthy and well-positioned rear molars can be pushed out of alignment by erupting wisdom teeth because there just isn’t enough room in your jaw for more teeth.
The risk of overcrowding and interfering with other well-positioned teeth can be eliminated by having your wisdom teeth removed. Doing so may prevent the need for expensive and extensive orthodontic treatment.
Wisdom teeth make keeping your teeth clean harder
Regular brushing and flossing between teeth is essential to preventing tooth decay. When a wisdom tooth erupts, it does so gradually and often only partially, meaning that only part of the tooth’s surface is exposed for brushing. Brushing the entire tooth to prevent plaque and tartar from building up is impossible, meaning that the risk of tooth decay increases.
The overcrowding of wisdom teeth into a jaw that is too small to accommodate them means that all teeth are squeezed together unnaturally. This can make regular flossing between your other teeth and between your last molar and those emerging wisdom teeth difficult or impossible. Anything that interferes with good flossing habits increases the risk of tooth decay and oral health problems.
You’ll suffer fewer oral injuries
Because of the limited space in the jaw, wisdom teeth often erupt at an angle. They can point either inward toward the tongue, or outwards toward the cheek. In either case, wisdom teeth can cause injuries inside your mouth — scratching the inside of your tongue or accidentally biting the inside of your cheeks. Some people will try to alter the shape of their jaw as they eat to avoid those injuries, which can also contribute to discomfort. Removing wisdom teeth in whole or in part can eliminate the risk of oral injuries and ulcers that can be caused by wisdom teeth.
Removing your wisdom teeth will eliminate the risk of impaction
An impacted wisdom tooth is a wisdom tooth that does not erupt through the gums. Impaction itself is not necessarily a serious problem, but that impacted tooth can rot over time. The continued presence of a rotted and impacted wisdom tooth in your jaw can contribute to gum disease and the risk of infection.
An infection can cause swollen and bleeding gums, swelling, bad breath, a bad taste in your mouth, and even problems opening your jaw. If not treated properly and effectively, it can also cause general health problems. Asking a dentist in NW Calgary to remove your wisdom teeth before they become impacted can eliminate that significant risk.
Wisdom tooth removal in NW Calgary could help resolve your headaches
According to the Canadian Headache Society, nearly half of all Canadian adults suffer from headaches. Identifying the cause of headaches is important to manage them and their treatment, but can be very difficult.
Overcrowding in your jaw due to the emergence of wisdom teeth increases the pressure in your jaw. That pressure can radiate upwards and cause headache pain. If you’re experiencing unexplained headaches, tell your doctor and your dentist. Ask your dentist in NW Calgary if removing your wisdom teeth would help relieve the headaches you’ve been experiencing.
Not all wisdom teeth need to be removed, but there are very good reasons for carefully considering having them removed and discussing the options with a dentist near you.