Once it’s been determined that wisdom teeth won’t be able to erupt and become useful for you, the next step is making an appointment to have them removed. In a recent post, we discussed the timing of wisdom teeth removal, but some of you may still be questioning the suggestion given to you by your dental team. Today, we will talk a little more about serious negative effects of leaving wisdom teeth alone.
Breeding Grounds for Bacteria
If only a portion of a wisdom tooth appears in the mouth, the tissue in that area won’t be able to make a nice seal around the neck of the tooth. This can lead to a chronic infection not only in your mouth, but in other parts of your body as well. The medical community warms that bacteria entering the bloodstream via the gums can aggravate conditions like heart disease, diabetes and arthritis to name a few. Now, wouldn’t you rather give up some pesky molars to live years longer?
Use It or Lose It
Teeth that are being put to work are actually healthier on average than the underused ones. When we bite on crunchy or fibrous materials, the tops of our teeth get scraped by food particles and bacteria can’t stick to these areas very well. Also, the bone forming cells are stimulated to regenerate new bone on a continual basis around the roots of teeth getting regular pressure from chewing. We often see wisdom teeth heading the wrong direction or sunken down too far to get any kind of connection with other teeth or the meal we are eating. As time goes on, these unnecessary teeth don’t serve a purpose.
All For One, One For All
Even though all of our teeth have different shapes and sizes, they are meant to work together. The engineering of the jaw and the teeth within is complex and can be thrown off balance. Any tooth that is infected, causing pain or just failing to benefit the rest of your mouth should be addressed in order to maintain all of the others around it. A single decayed or infected molar could start a series of negative events that cost you time and money down the road.
Time Does Not Heal All Wounds
If you think waiting it out will make things better, consider these three things:
1- Most people will encounter bone loss in their jaw over time. Sometimes patients well over fifty years of age suddenly get a wisdom tooth or two when the bone level drops below the chewing surface on it. These folks always wished they would’ve addressed these pesky teeth in their youth.
2- Infected wisdom teeth might start to feel better for a little while, but trust us when we tell you that they usually get worse and require emergency treatment when patients try to avoid dealing with them.
3- When patients are advised to have third molars removed, it’s usually because we can see a potential problem in the future. Allowing the teeth to develop bigger and stronger can actually lead to more trauma later on when the roots anchor themselves to bone. Removing third molars when they are small makes for a much more pleasant recovery.
The key to a healthy mouth is prevention and sometimes wisdom teeth just won’t be a necessary part of the plan. Removing teeth seems counterintuitive, but remember that our job is to help you maintain a stable and beautiful smile. If we suspect potential problems, we will let you know; but it’s up to you to make that final decision.