Wisdom tooth removal is a common oral surgery in which a patient’s third molars, or wisdom teeth, are removed. Most adults need wisdom tooth removal due to complications, and an average of around 5 million individuals require this surgery each year.1 While there could be some risk with any oral surgery, the benefits of removing your wisdom teeth typically outweigh any of the potential complications.
What Are Wisdom Teeth?
Wisdom teeth are a set of third molars that typically grow in the mouth in the later teen years or early adulthood. Though believed to be necessary to an ancestral diet, modern humans no longer need wisdom teeth. In fact, these final sets of adult teeth aren’t found in around 35% of the population, partly because they are no longer necessary for chewing purposes.2
Four Reasons Why Removing Wisdom Teeth Is Necessary
Wisdom teeth cause much more nuisance than a benefit to a human’s oral health and functioning in today’s advanced society. Here are four key reasons why wisdom tooth removal is a necessary oral surgery:
#1: Reduction in Pain and Headaches
One of the most pressing reasons to remove your wisdom teeth is that it may reduce jaw and tooth pain or headaches believed to be linked to wisdom teeth. Wisdom teeth may crowd teeth as they grow in, contributing to jaw and tooth pain in some individuals. Overcrowding in the mouth puts pressure and tension on the jaw and face, leading to chronic headaches.
#2: Prevents Infection From Impacted Wisdom Teeth
When a wisdom tooth is impacted, there isn’t sufficient room in the mouth for the tooth. This lack of space causes the tooth to partially erupt from the gums, leading to a gum flap that’s difficult to clean properly. Over time, this can lead to infection. Some signs of an infected impacted wisdom tooth include:3
- Difficulty opening the mouth
- Pain in the jaw bone and mouth
- Swelling and bleeding gums
- Halitosis, or bad breath
The risk of an impacted wisdom tooth and subsequent infection is high, so many people elect to have wisdom teeth removed before they can cause problems.
#3: Prevents Crooked and Shifting Teeth
Suppose you already spent the money and time on braces, retainers, and other orthodontic treatments to keep your teeth straight and beautiful. In that case, it is essential to remove wisdom teeth before the additional teeth can reverse this expensive work. As wisdom teeth grow in, they can cause the surrounding teeth to shift or become misaligned from overcrowding. A shift in one tooth can potentially cause changes in the rest of the mouth.
#4: Decreases Risk For Periodontal Disease
Periodontal disease, otherwise known as gum disease, is an infection of the gum tissue that causes oral pain, swollen gums, receding gum lines, and other unpleasant symptoms. Unfortunately, the risk of acquiring gum disease increases when wisdom teeth are still present in the mouth. This is because the partially erupted wisdom teeth are challenging to clean and often accumulate excess bacteria.
What Does A Typical Wisdom Tooth Surgery Entail?
There are compelling reasons to consider wisdom tooth removal. Typically, wisdom tooth removal requires a local anesthetic and an oral surgeon to reach the tooth underneath the gum line. More complex extractions may require deep sedation, which means the patient is in a sleep-like state for the duration of the surgery.
After the wisdom teeth extraction, patients may have sutures to protect the extraction site or an open socket. The oral surgeon will instruct the patient to bite onto a cotton swab to stop the bleeding and begin the healing process of forming a protective blood clot. It’s imperative to protect this blood clot to prevent a dry socket infection, which is a painful infection that occurs when the sensitive nerves and bone tissue are exposed.
Most patients recover from wisdom tooth removal in three or four days. However, after more complicated extractions, it may take a week or more for a full recovery.
Book Your Wisdom Tooth Removal with a Board-Certified Oral Surgeon at Dental Implants & Periodontal Health of Rochester Today
There is no need to wait until pain, infection, and other issues arise before removing your wisdom teeth. Early wisdom tooth removal can prevent complications like infection, misaligned teeth, and pain. For the best wisdom tooth extraction in Rochester, Dr. White, a board-certified oral surgeon specializes in wisdom tooth removal and is available for appointments at Dental Implants and Periodontal Health of Rochester. Reach our office at 585.685.2005 or contact us online!