Robert J. Buch, DDS, MD
Are your wisdom teeth causing you problems? Have you been putting off wisdom tooth extraction? Many people delay this important procedure, hoping that the discomfort and pressure will go away on its own, without realizing that by procrastinating they could be causing more extensive (and expensive) dental problems in the future.
At Southwest Oral Surgery in Glendale, AZ, we understand your fears and concerns about wisdom teeth extraction. Your comfort is our top priority, and we will take every step necessary to make your procedure quick, comfortable, and effective.
If your wisdom teeth have fully come in, are healthy, and are not causing any problems with the rest of your teeth, extracting them is not a must, but data from 254 patients in their twenties who opted to keep all four erupted wisdom teeth and underwent detailed follow-up examinations was collected.
The researchers found that a surprisingly high proportion (60 percent) already had signs of early gum disease around those teeth when the study began, and about 25 percent experienced a worsening over the next two years.
Gum disease occurs when bacteria grow in the tissue supporting teeth, which can damage the tissue and cause spaces known as pockets to form around the roots. As it worsens, the infection can loosen and damage the teeth, eventually requiring them to be pulled.
Other studies have confirmed that approximately 80% of individuals will require removal of their wisdom teeth at some point during their life. Generally, under similar conditions, the younger the patient, the quicker the healing will progress after any surgical procedure, including removal of wisdom teeth.
Some of the most common reasons we extract wisdom teeth include:
The wisdom teeth are impacted (completely or partially covered by gum tissue).
The wisdom teeth are decayed or damaged.
The wisdom teeth have come in at an unusual angle and are putting too much pressure on the other teeth.
If you are experiencing pain in your jaws, teeth sensitivity, infections, or shifting of your other teeth, it’s time to think about wisdom tooth extraction.
Impacted wisdom teeth that have come in incorrectly can cause a number of concerns that can significantly affect your oral health. When you wait to have these teeth removed, the problems continue to compound. When these teeth are not removed, patients have a higher risk of developing cysts or tumors associated with their retained, impacted wisdom teeth.
When wisdom teeth come in at the wrong angle or when your mouth isn’t quite large enough to accommodate them, it can cause crowding of your other teeth. Not only can this be uncomfortable, it makes it more difficult to properly brush and floss between the crowded teeth. In time, this leads to an increased risk of developing cavities and periodontal disease.
Additionally, this crowding puts the rest of your teeth under pressure that the teeth are not designed to handle. This can lead to cracks and fractures and could actually cost you your teeth.
If your wisdom teeth are impacted, it’s common to have a small flap of skin where the teeth have partially broken through. This flap creates an opening for bacteria to enter, which can lead to infections. These infections are painful and can even develop into systemic infections, putting your overall health at risk.
If your wisdom teeth are causing you problems, don’t delay another moment. We can help. Call Southwest Oral Surgery today and schedule a consultation with one of our skilled Glendale oral surgeons to protect your oral health and prevent future discomfort and other problems.