Wisdom tooth removal is seen as a rite of passage today from adolescence to adulthood. The “chipmunk cheeks” and three days of no solid foods are an experience almost all young adults have shared.
But is this procedure always required for good oral health? Is it possible to have straight, aligned wisdom teeth that do no harm to your dental health and can stay put?
Signs Your Teeth Are Impacted
If your wisdom teeth are impacted, they’ve got to go. Wisdom teeth become impacted when they can’t fully break through the gum line because there is not enough room.
You may not feel symptoms from an impacted wisdom tooth, or you may suffer inflammation and pain — everyone is different. Dental professionals normally can detect impacted wisdom teeth through X-rays, and they refer patients to an oral surgeon when the scope of the problem is beyond their expertise.
Consistent Gum Disease and Decay
Even if your wisdom teeth are able to fully develop, their presence can contribute to a downward spiral in your oral health. It’s tough to reach the farthest corners of your mouth while brushing and flossing, and bacteria can build up and eventually lead to gum disease or cavities in and around the third molars.
You may also begin to notice the development of cysts along the gum line due to infection or inflammation. When it becomes impossible to take care of these teeth, it’s better to take them out altogether.
Effects on Orthodontic Work
If you spent years of your life wearing braces and a retainer, you don’t want to ruin your straight, even teeth. If your wisdom teeth are allowed to remain even though you have no room for them, they can slowly put pressure on the neighboring teeth and begin to alter the positioning you and your orthodontist worked so hard to achieve.
Related Jaw and Sinus Issues
When your mouth becomes too crowded by your wisdom teeth, you may begin to have jaw pain or sinus pressure, which can lead to regular headaches or constant nasal congestion. Having them removed can relieve chronic jaw and sinus pain.
Talk to Northeast Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery today to schedule a consultation and examination. You may find that your third molars are just fine where they are, or the professional team may spot signs that wisdom tooth removal would benefit you over the long term.