generally cause problems when they erupt partially through the gum. The most
common reasons for removing them are:
bacteria and food particles can collect around an impacted wisdom tooth,
causing it, or the next tooth to decay. It is very difficult to remove such
decay. Pain and infection will usually follow.
When a wisdom
tooth is partially erupted, food and bacteria collect under the gum causing a
local infection. This may result in bad breath, pain, swelling and trismus
(inability to open the mouth fully). The infection can spread to involve the
cheek and neck. Once the initial episode occurs, each subsequent attack becomes
more frequent and more severe.
Pain may also
come from the pressure of the erupting wisdom tooth against other teeth. In
some cases this pressure may cause the erosion of these teeth.
patients have had prolonged orthodontic treatment to straighten teeth. Wisdom
teeth may cause movement of teeth (particularly the front teeth) when they try
to erupt and this will compromise the orthodontic result.
are to have dentures constructed should have any wisdom tooth removed. If a
wisdom tooth erupts beneath a denture it will cause severe irritation and if
removed, the patient will need to have a new denture constructed as the shape
of the gum will have changed.
A cyst (fluid filled sac) can develop from the soft tissue around an impacted
wisdom tooth. Cysts cause bone destruction, jaw expansion and displacement
or damage to nearby teeth. The removal of the tooth and cyst is necessary
to prevent further bone loss. Rarely, tumors may develop within these cysts
or the jaw may fracture spontaneously if the cyst grows very large.
Why Should an Impacted
Wisdom Tooth be Removed if it Hasn't Caused any Trouble?
wisdom teeth are almost certain to cause problems if left in place. This is
particularly true of the lower wisdom teeth. Such problems may occur suddenly,
and often at the most inconvenient times.
When is the Best Time to
Have my Wisdom Teeth Removed?
It is now
recommended by specialists that impacted wisdom teeth be removed between the
ages of 14 and 22 years whether they are causing problems or not. Surgery is
technically easier and patients recover much more quickly when they are
younger. What is a relatively minor operation at 20 can become quiet difficult
in patients over 40. Also the risk of complications increases with age, and the
healing process is slower.
Travel to Inaccessible
If you are
going to an area where specialist dental services are not available and your
wisdom teeth are impacted, it may be advisable to have them removed beforehand.
Should a Wisdom Tooth be
Removed When an Acute Infection (Pericoronitis) is Present?
no. Surgery in the presence of infection can cause infection to spread and
become more serious. Firstly, the infection must be controlled by local oral
hygiene, antibiotics and sometimes the extraction of the opposing wisdom tooth.
You may also be interested in:
- What are the impacted wisdom teeth?
- The Pro's and Con's of Wisdom Tooth Removal
- Alternatives to Extracting Wisdom Teeth
- Wisdom Teeth: the Operation and What to Expect Afterward
- Post Operative Care for Wisdom Teeth Extraction
- Wisdom of the Ages is Like Money in the Bank
- Information about intravous sedation (IV sedation)