Many patients will consider having their impacted wisdom teeth removed even before any problems develop, while others may be reluctant to undergo such a surgical procedure when their wisdom teeth aren’t bothering them.
Oral Health Problems Associated with Wisdom Teeth
When making this treatment decision, it’s important for patients to understand the health benefits of wisdom teeth removal. Of course, the most obvious benefits are related to the patient’s oral health. Cavities, abscesses, and periodontal disease are very common among people who retain their wisdom teeth. Since wisdom teeth emerge during early adulthood, they will also threaten the positioning of other teeth in the mouth because they do not have enough room to come through upright. Crowded teeth can easily become misaligned and therefore lead to occlusal issues that contribute to tooth wear and TMJ dysfunction.
Impacted Wisdom Teeth Lead to Infections
Additionally, the lack of room for their eruption means that wisdom teeth will become impacted. Impacted wisdom teeth are more susceptible to infection and abscesses that can infiltrate surrounding tissues. Impacted wisdom teeth also are more likely to develop cysts and tumors. Additionally, impacted wisdom teeth may damage surrounding teeth as they try to push through the gums, which also is detrimental to your oral health. Therefore, when you enlist an oral surgeon to remove your impacted wisdom teeth, you will reduce your risk of these negative consequences.
Wisdom Teeth and Their Effects on Gum Health
The primary reason that wisdom teeth can affect the gums is because wisdom teeth rarely erupt the gum line properly. Since wisdom teeth come in years after the majority of adult teeth, they normally have very little space to emerge. This causes teeth to become impacted or come in sideways. Crowding may also slow down the eruption process, leaving the tooth partially exposed. When most wisdom teeth appear, the crown of the tooth is not entirely visible; instead, it is stuck in the gums. This improper eruption makes it incredibly difficult to keep wisdom teeth and their surrounding gum tissue clean during oral hygiene, and because the tooth is partially exposed, food debris and plaque will colonize underneath the gum tissue and around the portions of the tooth that are exposed.
When food particles and plaque are not removed by properly brushing and flossing your teeth, bacteria will colonize, which irritates the gum tissue. Furthermore, colonized bacteria (plaque) will eventually harden from exposure to calcium in a few days. Over time, tartar buildup and new plaque accumulation will inflame and infect the gums resulting in gum disease or pericoronitis. Not only are wisdom teeth susceptible to caries, gum disease presents dangerous effects for a patient’s oral health. Untreated gum disease can lead to tooth loss, chronic infections, and bone loss.
Wisdom Teeth Effects on Overall Health
Nonetheless, the benefits of having an oral surgeon remove impacted wisdom teeth aren’t restricted to your mouth. In fact, your oral health and your overall well-being have a close relationship. An infection that begins in the mouth can easily spread throughout the rest of the body, potentially causing a life-threatening condition known as sepsis. Gum disease also appears to have a correlation with other systemic issues like heart disease and diabetes, and research has also suggested a link between periodontal disease and some problems that develop during pregnancy. Therefore, in reducing your risk of gum disease, wisdom teeth removal also benefits your overall health. Furthermore, wisdom tooth removal also can preserve the correct alignment of your teeth, which will make it easier for you to chew and process nutritious foods that help to keep you healthy.
When you have impacted wisdom teeth removed, you may gain a number of health benefits. Contact our office to learn more about these benefits as well as the extraction procedure, then schedule an appointment with one of our providers to see if wisdom teeth removal is recommended in your case.