Wisdom teeth are proof that we used to have larger mouths (to go with our bigger prehistoric appetites). Wisdom teeth are the last teeth to grow, normally between the ages of 17 and 25. However, thanks to your 28 gleaming teeth that are already there, wisdom teeth normally have very little space to move into. This can lead to impacted wisdom teeth: teeth that have only partly emerged or grown at an angle instead of straight up. This, in turn, affects neighbouring teeth.
Since impacted wisdom teeth tend to shove and bully their way into your row of teeth (usually without much success), they can disturb teeth that have already been corrected through orthodontic treatments like Damon braces, Lingual braces and Invisalign braces. Because of this, your orthodontist or dentist may recommend wisdom teeth removal before you actually get braces. But this isn’t the only situation that can warrant wisdom teeth removal.
Other reasons for removing your wisdom teeth
In many cases, wisdom teeth don’t pose any threat or or cause discomfort. However, for some people, impacted wisdom teeth can create numerous dental issues.
- Periodontal disease, commonly known as gum disease, is caused by toxins released by plaque around impacted/partially emerged wisdom teeth (since they are hard to clean). These toxins cause an infection that leads red, swollen and bleeding gums. Left untreated, this problem can escalate into a more serious condition that can lead to the loss of teeth.
- Dental caries (tooth decay) can occur when plaque accumulates around bad wisdom teeth, resulting in the erosion of your teeth enamel and subsequent tooth decay.
- An abscess can develop around wisdom teeth. Because impacted wisdom teeth are not easy to clean and tend to retain plaque even after brushing, the bacteria on the teeth can eventually lead to pus.
- Although rare, cysts and other benign tumours may develop, although quite rarely, especially with wisdom teeth that have not properly cut through the gum.
The benefits of wisdom teeth removal on your overall health
There are numerous benefits to having your wisdom teeth removed. But these upsides don’t stop at improved oral health. Your oral hygiene and the health of your oral cavity is significantly linked to other health-related issues, like heart disease.
If the gum tissue around your impacted wisdom teeth becomes infected and you develop periodontitis, the bacteria from the infection can travel through your bloodstream and lead to heart problems or even sepsis—both of which are life-threatening conditions. Removing the impacted wisdom teeth can lessen your chances of developing these serious conditions.
Gum disease also makes diabetes difficult to manage since it tends to increase the sugar levels in your mouth. In fact, the relationship between the two conditions goes both ways. Diabetics have elevated sugar levels, which makes, in this example, their mouth a good place for bacteria to thrive and likely lead to gum disease. On the other side, the presence of gum disease in diabetics complicates their health further because of the high blood sugar levels that the infection causes.
Wisdom teeth removal in this regard minimises your risk of mouth infections, helps keep your sugar levels low and reduces your risk of diabetic complications.
Wisdom teeth removal will also ensure that your teeth are not overcrowded and that your jaws remain well-aligned - saving you from jaw-related problems like pain, difficulties speaking, chewing or breathing.
Should I consult a specialist?
Some people prefer to get have their wisdom teeth removed before any signs of trouble, while many others would rather not go through surgery for something that doesn’t cause them concern. You may be wondering which route to take—whether to wait or tread on the side of caution. Our advice is that you speak to an experienced orthodontist about your personal circumstances to see exactly how you would benefit from treatment.
Your specialist will determine whether your wisdom teeth need removal and explain the reasons. For example, if your wisdom teeth are not causing you any trouble, then it may not make sense to have surgery.
However, if your wisdom teeth are currently problematic—or are likely to cause trouble in future—then your orthodontist may recommend surgery. In this case, the risks of remaining with impacted wisdom teeth outweigh those of surgery.
Speak to one of our specialists and experienced orthodontists at Metamorphosis Orthodontics for exclusive care that’s tailored for you. Why put off having a stunning smile when you can have it sooner? Book your consultation today!
We can help you achieve your perfect smile. Learn about how you can have perfect teeth with your free copy of our “teeth straightening guide for adults”.