Wisdom teeth are extra sets of molars that begin to emerge during a person’s teens. Wisdom teeth fully emerge by the early twenties. These teeth are not necessary for regular biting and chewing. In fact, if they don’t come in properly, they can actually cause more harm than good.
The team at our Houston, TX dental practice would like to consider some basics about wisdom teeth removal. We’ll note the dangers of impacted wisdom teeth and why it’s a good idea to undergo a routine oral surgery to extract them in early adulthood.
What Is an Impacted Wisdom Tooth?
An impacted wisdom tooth refers to a wisdom tooth that comes in crooked. If the angle is bad or the tooth is simply emerging in a twisted manner, it can wind up pressing against the other molars or even the jawbone. This can lead to a number of dental health problems that will get worse with time if they are not addressed soon.
Pain and Pressure on Existing Molars
When teeth come in wrong, they can wind up growing into your second molars or even into the jawbone. Whatever the case may be, crooked wisdom teeth can be painful. Not only can impacted wisdom teeth make it difficult to bite and chew, they can also cause general discomfort when you’re not eating anything.
Potential for Fractures and Infections
As the pressure continues, impacted wisdom teeth can led to fractures in second molars and weakened tooth structure. When this happens, the likelihood of cavities and severe cracks increases. It’s also more likely for people to develop root canal infections because of the damage done to the teeth.
Difficulty with Oral Hygiene Routines
The presence of wisdom teeth can make it much more difficult to keep your mouth clean and fresh. It can be difficult to take care of all surfaces of your teeth, especially in hard-to-reach areas. Tooth decay, gum disease, and other dental problems become more likely, even if you do your best to brush and floss after every meal.
When Is Wisdom Tooth Extraction Necessary?
If you have wisdom teeth that are impacted or affect your dental health in other ways, it’s a good idea to undergo wisdom tooth extraction. Better to undergo the routine procedure than to risk problems in the near future and further down the road.
Monitoring the Emergence of Wisdom Teeth
During your teenage years, your dentist will take x-rays to monitor the development and emergence of your wisdom teeth. As you get closer to your twenties, plans can be made for the eventual removal of these teeth. You and your dentist can discuss these matters as they arise.
The Tooth Extraction Procedure
The wisdom tooth removal surgery is fairly routine. The procedure is performed with the patient under general anesthesia, with local anesthetic to avoid pain. Oral surgeons carefully expose the wisdom teeth and pull them out with the tooth root, leaving nothing behind. Sutures are applied to the gum tissue and patients are given time to heal over the course of a few days.
What to Expect After Wisdom Teeth Are Removed?
With your wisdom teeth gone, issues with pain and discomfort are no longer present. Oral hygiene is easier, and so is eating your favorite foods without any worries.
Learn More About Wisdom Tooth Removal
If you would like more information about the removal of wisdom teeth and how we can help you improve your dental health, be sure to contact a skilled cosmetic and restorative dentist. Dr. Jon Marc Van Slate will discuss your treatment options with you in greater detail during a consultation.