The wisdom teeth, also known as the third molars, are the last permanent teeth to grow in someone’s mouth, and they can cause all kinds of health problems when they grow in improperly. A lot of people don’t realize how many issues wisdom teeth can cause, ranging from headaches to infection. That’s why we are here to answer the question many people, maybe even you, have asked: “Why remove wisdom teeth?”
Impacted Wisdom Teeth Can Damage Your Mouth
If your dental arch does not have enough space to accommodate the incoming wisdom teeth, they may become impacted, meaning they are trapped below the gum line. Impacted wisdom teeth are one of the most common complications associated wisdom teeth erupting.
With impacted wisdom teeth come a slew of other dental problems, ranging from the unpleasant to the downright dangerous. Included in these
are the following:
Damage to Other Teeth: When a wisdom tooth is impacted and pushes against the second molar, that second molar can become damaged. The risk of infection in that area then also increases. Pressure from the impacted wisdom tooth has also been known to cause crowding of the other teeth, meaning that orthodontic treatment could be required to help undo the damage.
Tooth Decay: Partially impacted wisdom teeth are generally at a higher risk of tooth decay compared to the other teeth. This is because these teeth are harder to clean and it is easier for food and bacteria to become trapped between the gum and the partially erupted tooth.
Cysts: Wisdom teeth develop in sacs within the jawbone. When the wisdom teeth are impacted, those sacs can fill with fluid, forming cysts that can potentially damage the jawbone, teeth, and nerves. It is rare, but tumors (usually benign) can also develop, which can then lead to needing to remove tissue and bone to get rid of the tumor.
Gum Disease: Because it is significantly more difficult to clean impacted, partially erupted wisdom teeth, the risk of developing pericoronitis increases. Pericoronitis is an inflammatory gum condition. Its symptoms include pain, swelling, a bad taste in the mouth, swelling of the lymph nodes in the neck, and difficulty opening the mouth.
Wisdom Teeth Erupting Improperly Can Severely Alter Your Jaw Alignment: You cannot control how your teeth erupt in your mouth, and sometimes they come in in such a way that they can actually alter the alignment of your jaw. When wisdom teeth erupt and are tilted, sideways, or twisted, they can interrupt your bite, causing malocclusion of the teeth and misalignment of your jaw. A malocclusion is basically a discrepancy in the way the upper and lower jaw bite together. The problems that come with a malocclusion are anything but basic, though. At best, when a malocclusion is not corrected, patients may experience inflamed or damaged gum tissue and/or pain and discomfort in their teeth. At worst, an untreated malocclusion can cause problems with the temporomandibular joint, which is the hinge that connects the jaw to the temporal bones of the skull. Problems with this joint can lead to lockjaw, difficulty chewing, and a sometimes-painful popping or clicking experience whenever you open or close your mouth. Malocclusion is corrected with orthodontic treatment, orthognathic (jaw) surgery, or a combination of both. However, you can also potentially prevent malocclusion from ever occurring by having your wisdom teeth removed.
Removing Wisdom Teeth Might Get Rid of Your Headaches: For many people whose wisdom teeth are coming in, headaches are a frustrating addition. When the wisdom teeth begin to erupt, many people begin to alter their bit to avoid touching the tender parts of their mouth where the tooth is trying to push through. This is especially true if the pouch that develops where the tooth is pushing through becomes infected. When you adjust your bite, your jaws can become inflamed, leading to all kinds of problems for you, namely headaches. A bad bite can push your jaw joints into your ear muscles whenever you bite together. Your jaw muscles will then try to correct the problem and keep pressure off of the ear muscles, but this usually just leads to pain and spasm, causing severe headaches. Don’t just rely on painkillers to fix these headaches. They will only cover up the symptom but won’t treat the root cause. Having your wisdom teeth removed will allow your jaw to return to normal and will relieve the pressure and spasms that are causing your headaches.
There are many answers to the question, “Why remove wisdom teeth?” Many of the reasons for removing wisdom teeth have to do with improving your health and overall well-being. To prevent gum disease, cysts, tooth decay, malocclusion and its accompanying problems, and headaches, consider having your wisdom teeth removed. You’ll likely be surprised at how much better you feel without those pesky extra molars in your mouth.
Wisdom Teeth Erupting Improperly Can Severely Alter Your Jaw Alignment
Removing Wisdom Teeth Might Get Rid Of Your Headaches