Dentistry has been a major provider of preventive care in many aspects including early, low-risk wisdom tooth removal.

Did you know that the average mouth is only intended to hold 28 teeth? Understandably, it can be very painful when 32 teeth try to fit in a mouth only made to house 28. These four teeth, your third molars and the last teeth to develop, are also known as “wisdom teeth.” The most commonly asked question about wisdom teeth is, do they all have to be removed? The answer is no, but it can be difficult in young patients to predict those that will need to have their wisdom teeth removed until the risk of complications has dramatically increased.

WHY SHOULD YOU REMOVE YOUR WISDOM TEETH?

When wisdom teeth align properly and the surrounding gum tissue is healthy, wisdom teeth do not have to be removed. Unfortunately, this does not usually happen.

The extraction of wisdom teeth is necessary when they are prevented from properly erupting within the mouth. Impacted teeth can take many positions in the bone, as they attempt to find pathways that will allow them to erupt successfully. They may grow sideways, partially emerge from the gum, or even remain trapped beneath the gum and bone.

wisdom tooth removal

WHAT CAN HAPPEN IF YOU DON’T REMOVE YOUR WISDOM TEETH?

Poorly-positioned impacted teeth can cause many problems. When improperly positioned, the opening around the tooth or between the wisdom tooth and the tooth in front of it are hot spots for bacterial growth, which can eventually lead to infection. The result: swelling, stiffness, pain, and illness. Impacted or even abnormally erupted wisdom teeth can cause significant problems with the teeth in front of them (second molars); this includes decay or bone loss, resulting in loss of the second molars. The most serious problem occurs when a tumor or cyst forms around the impacted wisdom tooth, resulting in the destruction of the jawbone and healthy neighboring teeth.

WHEN SHOULD YOU REMOVE YOUR WISDOM TEETH?

Removal of the offending impacted tooth or teeth usually resolves these problems. Early removal is recommended to avoid such future problems, and to decrease the surgical risk involved with the procedure. Because dental care has dramatically improved, today’s teenage patient should be able to keep his or her erupted teeth a lifetime. That said, retained wisdom teeth usually are a threat to dental health.

Wisdom teeth are the last teeth to erupt in the mouth, typically breaking through around ages 14 to 17, and are removed in most cases during mid-teen years, before they can harm the other functional teeth. We recommend an initial consult around the age of 15, but since many patients differ, consult your regular dentist, or contact our Ocoee Oral Surgery office for more information and solutions on wisdom teeth removal in Cleveland TN and the surrounding area.

New patient? If this is your first visit to Ocoee Oral Surgery, click here for new patient information, what to expect, and post-operative care.