First, let’s talk about why we even have wisdom teeth (third molars) at all. Before modern day medicine, it was very difficult to keep all of our teeth clean. Very often, our first molars (the second to last teeth in most mouths) would decay away, fall out, the second molar would shift forward, leaving space for our third molars, those wisdom teeth to take a spot in the very back of our mouths. This commonly occurred in the late teenage years- or our years of wisdom. Now that we brush twice a day, floss, and see dentist regularly, those first molars we used to lose stay clean and healthy and do not fall out. This leaves those third molars useless and without enough space to be functional.Here are the Top 10 health reasons to have your wisdom teeth removed!
Because the surrounding gum tissue is difficult to keep clean and that there is limited space for those wisdom teeth, there is almost always bacteria present causing inflammation, even if there are no symptoms. Research shows that once inflammation starts, it is nearly impossible to prevent its spread to neighboring teeth without removing the offending teeth.
2. Low Birthweight to Preterm Infants
Current research is suggesting that chronic oral inflammation associated with retained third molars in mothers can contribute to low birthweight to preterm infants.
3. Difficult to Chew and Clean
Even when third molars erupt correctly into position with enough space, they are hardly used for chewing function and are always hard to brush and floss around.
4. Cyst Formation
Research shows 10% of impacted wisdom teeth later go on to form cysts around them, which is just a fancy word for really dense balls of tissue. These cysts then push pressure on adjacent structures and may necessitate further surgery to remove the lesions and repair the jaw structure and function.
5. Complications More Likely As You Get Older
Adolescent age is the perfect time to have wisdom teeth removed because patients are at their peak of healing and the teeth are smaller and easier to remove. As we age, the chance for complications from surgery increases.
6. Receding Gums, Deteriorating Jaw Bone, and Tooth Loss
The inflammation and gum disease associated with the presence of wisdom teeth may cause the gums to recede, deterioration of the jaw and also tooth loss.
7. Infection More Likely to Occur
As mentioned above, even wisdom teeth that do not seem to be causing problems are a breeding ground for bacteria and therefore inflammation and infection. Research does support the concept that this infection can enter the bloodstream and support the advancement of health problems such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and stroke.
8. Not Enough Space
Because there isn’t enough space for the wisdom teeth, they can put pressure on the nearby second molars and cause crowding of those teeth.
9. Recovery is More Difficult the Older You Are
After your doctor determines that a wisdom tooth will not erupt into a functional position and be maintained without inflammation or plaque, prompt removal of the tooth is linked with a recovery that is both faster and easier. Waiting for wisdom teeth to cause pain or develop fully (their roots grow longer and the jawbone becomes more dense) makes the teeth more difficult and is associated with more post-operative complications.
10. Peace of Mind
And the very last important health reason? Peace of mind! The very last thing you want to deal with, say while on vacation in Mexico, the day of your wedding, or any holiday is preventable tooth pain.In general, good things come to those who wait- but not in the case of wisdom teeth! Don’t be a part of the population that inevitably has pain and problems with their wisdom teeth. Be wise and get them removed on your time, as it coordinates with your schedule and while you are pain-free!