Should Wisdom Teeth Be Removed?

If you’re raising a teenager here in Concord, OH, there’s a good chance you will need to talk to Fioritto Family Dental about their wisdom teeth. Should wisdom teeth be removed? Are they impacted? Will they be a source of problems? They’re all valid questions.

Wisdom teeth tend to make themselves known during the teenage years and sometimes well into the early-mid 20s. Sometimes, they come in just fine… but not always. Many times, wisdom teeth enter an already-overcrowded mouth, causing everything from jaw pain, to headaches, to bite misalignments. Here’s a look at some of the problems they cause and why your Fioritto dentist may recommend wisdom teeth removal.

Bony and soft tissue impaction

Impaction means the wisdom teeth are completely developed but haven’t emerged like the rest of your teeth. There are a several types of wisdom teeth impactions:

  • A bony impaction happens when the tooth is still fully enclosed in your jawbone.
  • A soft tissue impaction means the wisdom tooth has emerged from the jawbone, but is still underneath the gum line.
  • Wisdom teeth can also become partially impacted, meaning they started to break through the gum line but are still mostly submerged.

Impactions tend to lead to infection and gum diseases—especially partial impactions, since they create a pocket that traps bacteria underneath the gum line. Ultimately, impactions are complications: they can affect the health of surrounding teeth. If they aren’t removed, they might cause infections or a cyst that damages the roots of other teeth.

Not enough room to grow

Many patients need to get their wisdom teeth removed because their jaw bone doesn’t provide enough room for wisdom teeth to properly erupt through the gum line. When these molars don’t have enough room, they crowd adjacent teeth. This leads to damage that can only be prevented with wisdom teeth removal. And, of course, this can be very painful. Imagine chewing with crowded, sensitive back molars!

In addition to crowding, wisdom teeth may not grow in the right direction. They can emerge at various angles, and sometimes even develop horizontally. Wisdom teeth that don’t emerge properly can damage the roots of surrounding teeth.

Risk to your dental hygiene

It’s possible for wisdom teeth to fully erupt in the proper position. However, we still recommend getting them removed because they’re housed in a hard-to-reach location of the mouth. Even if wisdom teeth develop correctly, they still pose a risk to your dental health. They’re difficult to brush and floss. Bacteria often collects behind fully erupted wisdom teeth because they’re harder to reach. Lack of proper dental hygiene paves the way for cavities, as well as other gum diseases.

Do they need to come out?

While wisdom teeth often come in with complications, they don’t always need to be removed. Some patients develop wisdom teeth that are perfectly healthy. There’s a good chance you’ll get to keep your wisdom teeth if they fully erupt, they’re in the right position, and you can clean them with toothpaste and floss.

Schedule an appointment at Fioritto Family Dental and one of our dentists can help you make an informed decision about wisdom teeth removal. While it’s not necessary for some patients, getting your wisdom teeth removed is the best way to prevent infection and long-term damage to the rest of your teeth. If you’ve got a teen complaining about jaw or gum pain due to wisdom teeth beginning to erupt, give us a call and we will figure out the best course of action.

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