Every year in Canada, thousands of teens and adults from ages 15-25 get their wisdom teeth extracted. Humans have evolved enough to no longer need wisdom teeth, which historically, were used to assist our ancestors as they chewed through tough or hard substances such as raw animal meat, nuts and leaves. There are rare occurrences where wisdom teeth will not cause physical harm to individuals, but in most cases, they become impacted and can cause major discomfort & possible infections. Here are a few important reasons to extract your wisdom teeth:
Inflamed Gums/ Risk of Infection
There is a severe lack of space in your mouth, and your gums only provide enough space for your full-grown adult teeth and molars. Therefore, when wisdom teeth become impacted, your gums tend to swell and become inflamed to the point where basic pain killers (i.e. ibuprofen, acetaminophen, etc.) are unable to subdue the discomfort. The issue is compounded when the inflammation causes infections, which can ultimately spread to other areas in your mouth.
As previously mentioned, there isn’t much room in your mouth for new teeth to suddenly appear, and that’s what happens when wisdom teeth force their way out. Wisdom teeth will push your adult teeth in different directions, which will lead to misalignment. Misaligned teeth are especially troubling for individuals that had braces to correct their bite or crooked teeth. Wisdom teeth can permanently ruin the progress that you’ve made with your orthodontist, which is not only a financial disappointment but a burden on your self-confidence.
Impact on Other Teeth
Overcrowding is not the only side effect of impacted wisdom teeth. The constant scraping that your impacted wisdom teeth causes to your adult teeth can lead to cavities and damage to your enamel. Allowing your impacted wisdom teeth to remain in your mouth without consulting your dentist could result in needing a filling and in the worst-case scenario, a root canal. In some cases, teeth have required to be removed due to the compounded damage caused by erupted wisdom teeth.
Wisdom Teeth Are Harder to Remove When You’re Older
The unfortunate circumstance with wisdom teeth is that they do not always cause problems from the offset, which is why so many people leave them alone and undisturbed. When your wisdom teeth erupt, the roots become ingrained and intertwined in your jawbone, making it harder to remove them efficiently and pain-free. Removing your wisdom teeth as an adult will also increase the post-op recovery time, which could impact your day-to-day life.
Cysts commonly form in and around the eruption of your wisdom teeth which can be extremely painful and make it nearly impossible to eat, drink, talk or laugh. These cysts can introduce a plethora of future oral health concerns that could have easily been avoided if you prevented your wisdom teeth from overstaying their welcome.
Wisdom teeth need to be properly diagnosed by your family dentist, they will provide you with a detail report about the status of your wisdom teeth, and if they are showing signs of eruption.