Wisdom teeth are a normal part of the body's ageing process, usually coming through at some point between the ages of 17 and 25. For most people, they don't cause any real problems, although they might be a bit uncomfortable as they grow, and you should attend your regular dentist appointments so they can be checked.
For some, however, wisdom teeth can be problematic and may need to be removed. You might think this will only be the case if they're causing you pain, but that's not necessarily true. These are the situations where a dentist might advise wisdom teeth extraction to prevent future problems occurring.
One of the more common reasons wisdom teeth need to be removed is that there isn't room for them to grow through properly, which is known as impaction. Impacted teeth may grow through partially, almost fully, or they might not be visible in the mouth at all. But all of these situations can lead to dental health problems.
Impacted teeth can inflame the gums, leading to gingivitis if left untreated. They're also prone to decay, so it's best that they're removed before these things can happen.
When wisdom teeth have the space necessary to grow through fully, they might still be too close to other teeth. This crowding puts pressure on teeth, which can be very painful. It also makes it difficult to clean between them.
In addition to crowding in the area of the wisdom teeth themselves, their appearance can cause all teeth to crowd together as the space along the jaw shrinks.
Even when wisdom teeth successfully grow and don't cause problems for adjacent teeth, they can be difficult to reach when brushing. Over time, this can seriously reduce the overall hygiene of the back molars, leading to decay. A dentist might not spot this issue immediately, but they will over time. If you find you're having trouble brushing properly, let your dentist know as soon as possible so they can assess what needs to be done.
Risk to other teeth
If wisdom teeth grow at odd angles or there's significant crowding, they can cause damage to the teeth next to them. Caught early enough, this can be pre-empted by a dentist, who can recommend removal of the wisdom teeth in time to stop the damage.
Wisdom teeth can also damage the jaw if they don't grow correctly. Again, this can be spotted early, particularly if X-rays are used.Share
3 August 2017
Miranda Raff here. My brother is a stressed-out dental student, so I'm starting this blog on his behalf. I work in a travel agency and my brother is mortified by the number of dental tourism stories I bring home. I book short holidays for people who seem as though they are going to enjoy some relaxation in an exotic country, only to learn that they plan to have cheap dental procedures. Whilst there are good dentists in developing countries, according to my brother, the complex procedures these people plan to have simply can't be finished in such a limited time. This blog is an attempt to inform you about the high skill levels and advanced technology found in Australian dental surgeries. New techniques are being developed every year and Australian dentists are at the forefront of offering these solutions. I really hope this blog helps you to appreciate our dentists.