Wisdom teeth are the final teeth to emerge inside the mouth. When they align properly and gum tissue is healthy, the wisdom teeth do not need to be removed.
However, this unfortunately does not generally happen and it is necessary that they are removed entirely.
The reason being, they may grow in sideways, only partially break through the gums, and even remain trapped beneath the gum and bone. These impacted teeth can move into many positions as they attempt to break through. They will then erupt unsuccessfully and lead to many problems.
When they partially emerge, the opening around the tooth allows bacteria to grow and will eventually lead to an infection. This results in stiffness, swelling, pain, and even illness. The pressure from the emerging tooth can cause other teeth to be pushed and interfere with the natural alignment of the teeth, thus causing a need for orthodontic treatment.
More seriously, tumors or cysts could form around the impacted tooth or teeth, which results in the destruction of the jawbone and other formerly healthy teeth. Removal of the wisdom teeth early on typically corrects these problems.
An oral examination and x-rays of the mouth can help evaluate where the wisdom teeth are positioned and predict if there may be present or future problems. Studies prove that an early evaluation and treatment result in a greater overall outcome for the patient.
Generally, patients are first evaluated in the mid-teenage years by their dentist.
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