Written By Dr. Mehmood Asghar / Reviewed By Ray Spotts
Your dentist has advised you to have your wisdom teeth removed. “But they don’t hurt, so why should they be removed? Isn’t there any way to fix wisdom teeth problems with natural health products?”
Wisdom tooth removal surgery has become standard practice these days. However, not all wisdom teeth need to be removed. Usually, dentists remove wisdom teeth as a preventive measure - when a wisdom tooth has not erupted completely or has erupted at an angle and can harm the other teeth.
This article explains the clinical situations where wisdom tooth extraction becomes a necessity.
When Is Wisdom Tooth Removal Not Necessary?
Removing wisdom teeth may not be required in the following cases:
- When they are healthy and free of cavities and gum disease
- When they have grown entirely into the oral cavity
- When they are aligned correctly and bite appropriately with the opposing teeth
- When they can be cleaned adequately with brushing and flossing
When Does Wisdom Tooth Removal Become Necessary?
Even if your wisdom teeth do not hurt, your dentist may still recommend having them removed. This is because wisdom teeth may sometimes be partially or entirely impacted within their sockets - meaning they have not erupted completely. This usually occurs when there is inadequate space in the jaws for the wisdom teeth to erupt.
As a result, these teeth may erupt at an angle to the other teeth, resulting in overcrowding. If a wisdom tooth pushes up excessively against the adjacent teeth, it can result in various complications - such as tooth decay and gum disease. That is why dentists recommend impacted wisdom teeth removal as a preventive measure.
The American Dental Association recommends wisdom teeth removal as a preventive measure in the following situations:
- Risk of jaw damage - Dental experts recommend removing an impacted wisdom tooth if it exerts excessive pressure on the jaw or the jaw joints during the mouth’s opening and closing, as it can lead to jaw joint dislocation or even fracture.
- Sinus problems - If a wisdom tooth lies to or extends into the maxillary sinus, it can cause serious complications, including sinusitis. Left untreated, the sinus infection may travel to other bodily organs and can become life-threatening.
- Pericoronitis - This is a condition where the soft tissues surrounding a partially or entirely impacted tooth get inflamed. Pericoronitis is characterized by severe pain, swelling, and foul smell. If this condition arises frequently, your dentist may recommend wisdom teeth removal.
- Cavities - Teeth cleaning often becomes challenging around impacted teeth. As a result, these teeth and their neighbors are at a higher risk of developing teeth cavities. In these situations, dentists recommend getting the wisdom teeth extracted.
- Cysts - Sometimes cysts can develop around newly erupted or impacted teeth. If a cyst develops around a wisdom tooth, it should be removed.
Besides preventive measures, orthodontists often remove wisdom teeth to treat overcrowding. Once the wisdom teeth are removed, they will utilize the available space to realign the remaining teeth in the oral cavity using braces or clear aligners.
When is the Right Time to Have My Wisdom Teeth Removed?
According to the Canadian Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons, the most appropriate time for wisdom teeth removal is an early age. This is because, at an early age, our bones are flexible and have excellent regeneration potential. Therefore, it is easy to extract wisdom teeth with rapid healing and minimal complications.
On the other hand, the risk of complications increases with age. Therefore, it is always a good idea to get the wisdom teeth removed as soon as possible - if needed.
The decision on whether to extract your wisdom teeth or not will be made by your dentist, after a detailed clinical examination. If your dentist decides not to remove your wisdom teeth, you should continue to monitor them and ensure optimal oral hygiene through brushing and flossing - to prevent any issues.
Regular dental visits also go a long way in ensuring that your wisdom teeth remain healthy and problem-free.
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Dr. Mehmood Asghar currently works as an Assistant Professor in Dental Biomaterials at the National University of Medical Sciences, Pakistan. In addition to being an educator, he is also pursuing a Ph.D. in Dental Biomaterials, and works as a dentist as well. Apart from his professional activities, Dr. Asghar loves reading, writing, and working out.
Founder Ray Spotts has a passion for all things natural and has made a life study of nature as it relates to health and well-being. Ray became a forerunner bringing products to market that are extraordinarily effective and free from potentially harmful chemicals and additives. For this reason Ray formed Trusted Health Products, a company you can trust for clean, effective, and healthy products. Ray is an organic gardener, likes fishing, hiking, and teaching and mentoring people to start new businesses. You can get his book for free, “How To Succeed In Business Based On God’s Word,” at www.rayspotts.com.