When to Think About Wisdom Tooth Extraction

Wisdom tooth extraction is a rite of passage in this day and age, a service we happily provide at Bellflower Oral Facial Surgery & Dental Implant Center. An estimated 85% of Americans have had their impacted third molars (also known as wisdom teeth) removed.

Around 15% of people haven’t had their wisdom teeth taken out.

There are a lucky few who are lucky enough to be missing a wisdom tooth, multiple wisdom teeth, or even all four. The American Association for the Advancement of Science asserts that particular ethnic groups, such as the Inuit, have a particularly low occurrence of wisdom teeth. But for the rest of us, at a certain point, we will need to have our wisdom teeth removed to create space and avoid damage to surrounding teeth and structures of the mouth.

Impacted third molars can cause adverse side effects. Tooth crowding, infection, and additional problems brought on by wisdom teeth can compromise your oral and overall health. More and more studies are linking good oral health to good overall health, and wisdom teeth can cause problems in both areas.

Too many of us wait until the pain is unbearable to undergo wisdom tooth extraction.

Oral surgery is something people put off until the procedure is absolutely necessary. Even if your wisdom teeth aren’t causing pain, it doesn’t mean there isn’t anything wrong.

Teeth can be stuck or impacted. This means they are unable to break through the bone and into your mouth. Lack of space can cause problems. Teeth can grow at an angle against other teeth,  causing damage to neighboring teeth as they push up against each other.

As you age, the bones in your mouth get harder, which makes teeth tougher to remove. If a patient waits to have these teeth extracted, they could experience problems like heavy bleeding, fractured teeth, severe numbness, and minor loss of movement in the jaw among other maladies. These troubles could last a few days or even a lifetime and are more likely to happen in older patients.

Reasons for Removal:

  • Tooth damage. An extra set of molars can certainly push against your other teeth, causing pain and bite problems, even structural damage.
  • Damage to the jaw. Cysts can start to form around new teeth. If left untreated, they can hollow out the jaw and cause nerve damage.
  • Inflammation. Tissue around the gums can swell and become hard to clean.
  • Wisdom teeth can create cavities. Swollen gums make pockets between teeth where bacteria can grow — fertile ground for cavities to form.
  • Bite Alignment. Impacted third wisdom teeth cause crowding, which can compromise an otherwise healthy and straight set of teeth.

Multiple studies have shown that superior outcomes occur when wisdom teeth are evaluated and treated early on. A patient’s first evaluation should come before the age of 25.

If you think it’s about time to get your wisdom teeth removed, contact Bellflower Oral Facial Surgery & Dental Implant Center today. During your initial consultation, we’ll discuss your options and determine the best course of treatment for you.