Why are wisdom teeth removed?
- Infection – the number one reason wisdom teeth are removed is due to infection. If there is not enough room for wisdom teeth to erupt properly they collect food and debris around the tooth which can often times be very difficult to clean properly. However, if not cleaned the tissue around the wisdom teeth becomes inflammed leading to periodontal disease and bone loss which may or may not be painful.
- Crowding- wisdom teeth can erupt into the mouth in an abnormal way causing teeth to shift or prevent other teeth from erupting properly. This can lead to bite issues in the mouth.
- Impaction – impacted wisdom teeth can destroy the surrounding bony suppost of the adjacent teeth. In addition, their inability to erupt properly can lead to infection but also does not allow them to chew properly.
- Pain – some wisdom teeth as they erupt cause pain in the jawbone or back of the mouth.
The best time to remove wisdom teeth is before the roots of these teeth are fully formed. This generally occurs in the late teen years. Removal of wisdom teeth at this time in one’s life reduces the amount of complications and post operative healing. Delayed treatment generally is harder on the patient as the bone around wisdom teeth gets harder with time and the roots can form completely, sometimes around the nerve of the lower jaw.