The human mouth goes through many changes throughout life, and with age comes wisdom (teeth). Third molars are nicknamed “wisdom teeth” because they come at a more mature age. Typically, people hit this dental milestone between their late teens and early adulthood.
Some people opt for the removal of wisdom teeth, leaving other patients wondering, “is wisdom teeth removal always necessary?” In short, no, it’s not always required. In fact, it’s possible to have healthy third molars that properly emerge. Yet, removing wisdom teeth before or when they stir trouble can improve the quality of life for some patients.
Are you unsure if you would benefit from the removal of wisdom teeth? Stop the guessing game, and get a professional’s opinion when you book an appointment for general dentistry at our Chicago, IL office. Our Wicker Park Dental Group team can let you know if the removal of wisdom teeth is beneficial.
According to the American Dental Association (ADA), these scenarios warrant wisdom teeth removal:
When there is inadequate space for a tooth to emerge, impaction happens, raising the risk of infection. If this infection is at the top of a partially erupted tooth, it’s known as pericoronitis. When soft tissue grows over a partially impacted wisdom tooth, bacteria, food, and debris can become trapped underneath–potentially leading to swelling and infection. In severe cases, the swelling and infection spread beyond the jawline to the cheeks and neck.
Often, jaw pain is the first indication of impacted wisdom teeth. As the wisdom teeth become infected and swollen, jaw pressure and pain can develop. As the swelling gains proximity to the jaw muscles, it can pose difficulty opening your mouth. Also, you might notice pressure or discomfort when you bite down.
Dentigerous cysts can form on top of unerupted (wisdom) teeth. When these fluid-filled sacs are left untreated, they can misalign teeth, destroy the jawbone, or worse.
Infrequently, dentigerous cysts worsen and evolve into a tumor in the jaw. If ignored, the swelling can become cancerous, potentially spreading to other parts of the body, like the lymph nodes or lungs.
Damage to Adjacent Teeth
Aside from a wisdom tooth having a dentigerous cyst or tumor, an impacted wisdom tooth might impair neighboring teeth by simply pushing against it. This unwanted pressure can also cause crowding, requiring a round of orthodontic treatment.
Plainly, wisdom teeth are susceptible to gum disease since wisdom teeth are in a hard-to-reach location. When you don’t properly clean your teeth, a sticky biofilm called plaque forms as disease-causing bacteria lingers on the teeth. When plaque hardens, it turns into tartar. Then, tartar eats away at enamel and inflames the gum line, leading to inflamed and diseased gums.
As mentioned above, wisdom teeth can be difficult to clean. Consequently, partially impacted wisdom teeth have a higher chance of tooth decay than other teeth.
Removal of Wisdom Teeth in Chicago, IL
It’s challenging to decide whether you should undergo the removal of wisdom teeth or not on your own. Speak with one of our knowledgeable dentists about the condition of your wisdom teeth to find out what’s best for your unique situation. Call 773-276-5566 or message us online to schedule an appointment at Wicker Park Dental Group.