The Importance of Early Wisdom Teeth Removal
For some, wisdom teeth are seen as a minor annoyance and just a few extra teeth that may sit in the back of the mouth. For others, they can be some of the most damaging and problematic teeth to ever appear in their mouth.
No matter what, leaving wisdom teeth in the mouth can cause various problems, both minor and major in scale. Depending on the length of time that they are left in, the damage can become irreversible, leaving some patients with permanently disfigured smiles. As such, having wisdom teeth removed early can stave off multiple surgeries and procedures, as well as ensure safety for the patient’s mouth. Here are just a few reasons why getting wisdom teeth removed early can be beneficial in the long run.
What are Wisdom Teeth?
To start, we need to define what wisdom teeth1 are. Wisdom teeth are teeth that grow all the way in the back of the mouth and are also referred to as the third molars. They usually appear between the ages of 17 and 21 and can have a major impact on your alignment of the jaw and teeth that are already solidifying.
There are usually 4 wisdom teeth, each forming at their own pace behind the original molars. One is found in each corner of the jaw, which can apply undue pressure to the rest of the teeth and result in crowding of the other permanent teeth. However, some people are lucky enough to be born without wisdom teeth or with a lesser number of wisdom teeth.
Common Issues with Wisdom Teeth
With the introduction of new teeth to an already formed mouth, there are many complications that can come about in a quick period of time. To start, as soon as wisdom teeth start showing signs of appearing, many start to develop common symptoms and signs. These include such things as:
- Growing pains
- Facial Swelling
- Gumline Swelling in the back of the mouth
The most common and noticeable problem will be the pain coming through the gum line and mouth. The amount of pressure and stress that the teeth are put can create a permanent disfigurement if not taken care of quickly, along with many other problems. Here are just a few reasons why removing wisdom teeth early can be beneficial in the long run.
Besides pain and discomfort, one of the most prevalent problems that comes about with extended wisdom teeth is the increased risk of infections and disease. If wisdom teeth are allowed to grow and build up for a period of time, they apply pressure against the second molars, they can grind and whittle down on the enamel and health of the other teeth around them. Not only that, but since wisdom teeth tend to be partially open, they allow possible diseases and infections to enter the gum line through a new avenue.
Many of the possible issues include gum disease, as well as cysts. Cysts come from extended periods of infection and disease invading the gumline. They form through a sac that fills with fluid. These cysts, if left unchecked, can end up becoming tumors, although many tumors tend to be benign in nature when examined.
Damage and Decay
Along with infections, teeth that are damaged by impacted third molars tend to fracture and splinter more easily than regular teeth. This is due to the pressure and grinding that occurs when extra teeth start to form behind already formed teeth.
This pressure can permanently disfigure your alignment of the jaw and teeth, leaving you with a less than optimal smile. Depending on how long the misalignment occurs, there is a possibility of needing an orthodontic treatment to repair and straighten the teeth.
Another factor that comes into play when dealing with wisdom teeth is the possibility of decay. Third molars are at a higher risk of tooth decay than other teeth, due to their nature of generally being partially impacted, and being harder to clean due to how far back they are. As such, food, bacteria, and germs are able to build up quickly behind and in between the teeth, resulting in a habitat ripe for the growth of enamel eating bacteria.
Why Timing is Important
Although it may seem obvious at first glance, the longer the wisdom teeth stay in, the more damage and harm they can do as well. All of the problems mentioned above have minimal impact if the signs are noticed quickly, and symptoms are identified properly and taken care of.
Just some of the symptoms that come with wisdom teeth are:
- Jaw Pain
- Tender or Bleeding Gums
- Difficulty with opening and closing the mouth
- Chronic bad breath
If these are identified quickly, the damage done by possibly impacting wisdom teeth can be minimized, reducing the strain and possible permanent damage to your teeth.
A Small Chance
Depending on the issue that the wisdom teeth cause, it is important to consult your dentist to have your teeth examined. They will then be able to determine whether or not you will need your wisdom teeth removed, or if there is a slim chance that you are lucky enough to not need them removed.
In some rare cases, a person’s mouth is able to accommodate the extra teeth forming behind the second molars. In these circumstances, the molars do not impact the rest of the fully formed teeth. Instead, they breech and grow at a normal pace, without applying pressure, or grinding against the other teeth and jawline. As such, they end up being regular teeth, and will not cause any excess decay, damage, or pain.
Consult your Dentist
No matter what, it is important that you talk to an experienced dentist2 to see if wisdom teeth removal is right for you. To help with that, it is tantamount that you recognize the sign of emerging wisdom teeth. Look for signs of pain in the jaw and back of the mouth, as well as chronic bad breath. If your gums are sensitive and simple brushing ends up making them painful and swollen, it can be another sign that a possible infection has seeped in due to wisdom teeth impacting.
If caught early enough, your dentist can find the best treatment course for you and ensure you have a healthy, happy smile for the rest of your life.