According to Dr. Phillip Chien, wisdom teeth can only be assets when healthy and in their rightful positions. However, the teeth can be risky when they become impacted or grow partially, causing extreme pain. Poor alignment of these molars can damage your jawbone and adjacent teeth. In such an instance, your dentist will recommend extraction before you develop severe complications. While removing the tooth might be easier when you are young, you are likely to have an extended downtime if you are elderly.
Why do your wisdom teeth need space to grow?
Wisdom teeth can cause dental concerns if they lack enough room for growth or sprout at an inappropriate position. Has your dentist ever mentioned that you have impacted wisdom teeth? What the medical expert means is that the teeth are trapped under your gums or in your jaw.
Therefore, impacted wisdom teeth cause various dental concerns. For instance:
- Misaligned wisdom teeth trap food particles, creating room for bacteria to grow
- You are likely to find flossing between the wisdom teeth and the molars challenging when the wisdom teeth fail to grow well.
- Partially-grown wisdom teeth can allow bacteria to penetrate your gums, creating room for abscesses and other infections. When bacteria enter your gums, you might experience pain and jaw stiffness.
- An impacted wisdom tooth is likely to form a cyst on or near the tooth. The cyst might damage the roots of your nearby teeth or, worse off, destroy the bone supporting your teeth.
What factors determine the removal of wisdom teeth?
Your dentist is likely to recommend your wisdom tooth extraction when you have evident changes in your mouth. For instance, the medical professional will suggest removing the tooth when the impaction damages your surrounding teeth. Additionally, the healthcare provider may suggest extraction as part of your orthodontic treatment. However, before the treatment, your dentist may assess your mouth and request imaging tests to help discuss the best treatment option.
If you decide to let your wisdom tooth grow, you will need to have your dentist monitor the growth because your risks of developing complications might still exist. You may also need to floss regularly to prevent food build-up and go for dental appointments to evaluate the wisdom tooth and your overall health.
What should you expect during the extraction of an impacted wisdom tooth?
Before the treatment, your dentist may take an X-ray of your entire mouth or your treatment area. After evaluating the condition of your impacted tooth, the medical expert might recommend a surgical procedure to remove it or prescribe antibiotics and postpone the treatment to the future, especially if you have an infection. During the process, your dentist might administer local or general anesthesia depending on the number of teeth he is likely to extract and the severity of the impaction.
Most people know so little about their wisdom teeth until an excruciating pain that swells out the jaw happens. An impacted wisdom tooth might never break through your gums or might grow partially and stop, causing bacteria to sip and breed in your gums. Contact your dentist when you experience pain or swelling on your jaw, especially at the back of your mouth, to know whether you have issues with your wisdom teeth.