There are a variety of dental health reasons why having wisdom teeth removed is a good idea. For most people, having their wisdom teeth removed is more of a necessity than a cosmetic procedure. Typically, extracting wisdom teeth is a dental surgery that is done to correct a problem or prevent a future problem from occurring. The procedure is done by either an oral surgeon or a dentist and is usually a simple, relatively easy surgery. Often, the intensity of the surgery and the potential complications from the procedure are based on how many teeth are being removed. Some people only require the removal of one or two teeth, while others may require all of their wisdom teeth to be removed.
There are a few primary reasons why wisdom teeth are removed. One reason is having too small of a jaw. This may cause the wisdom teeth to become impacted and, therefore, unable to break through your gums. Impaction is when teeth do not break through the gums. This usually affects back molars and can cause infection if not addressed. Because of this potential problem, those with small jaws often need to have their wisdom teeth removed.
Alternatively, there are circumstances where wisdom teeth partially break through the gums, but not enough to fully come in. In this case gum tissue will grow over the teeth. This can be a huge problem for risk of infection as food and bacteria can become trapped in this space and infect the teeth and gums. Another common reason for wisdom teeth removal is to avoid the wisdom teeth from impacting and affecting the alignment of other teeth. Sometimes wisdom teeth come into the mouth from different angles and may misalign other teeth. Wisdom teeth often come in from the side, backwards, or forward and can disrupt your teeth and jaw over time.
In general, wisdom teeth removal serves the purpose of preventing crowding of teeth. This is particularly true in the back of the mouth with the molars. Problems with teeth and jaw alignment can also be prevented by having wisdom teeth removed. Issues of impacted teeth will be avoided by having the wisdom teeth preventively removed. If the wisdom teeth are allowed to come in and they present no immediate problems, they can still often be harder to clean than other teeth and can be susceptible to gum disease and tooth decay if not properly taken care of.
Even though wisdom teeth removal is a common procedure and is a low risk surgery, problems and complications can develop in some cases. The most common issues are minor bleeding and pain and swelling after surgery. Sometimes damage can occur to other dental work like crowns or bridges which may require additional corrective work to fix. Numbness and a slow healing of the gums are also pretty common after surgery issues. Some people may require antibiotics after surgery and, almost always, people will need pain medication afterwards to assist in healing.