Why Does Wisdom Tooth Get Removed?

Wisdom teeth, or third molar teeth, develop into the last of the adult teeth, and will generally start to form in late adolescence and be complete by the time you are 25 years old. As these teeth grow in, they can collide with or put pressure on existing teeth even though wisdom teeth are the same general size and shape as other molar teeth.
Many people may need to have their wisdom teeth removed for this or other various reasons, making it a common procedure performed in dentists’ offices every day. If you’ve wondered exactly why many of us need to have our wisdom teeth removed, here’s a look at the most common reasons.

They Are Causing Gum Problems

Wisdom teeth can impact, or collide, with other teeth as they grow in, and often don’t grow through the gum tissue completely. This can cause pain and swelling and runs the risk of forming deep pockets in the gum tissue where bacteria can accumulate. Left untreated, impacted or partially erupted wisdom teeth can cause considerable problems for your oral health.

They Are Causing Damage To Or Crowding Of Neighboring Teeth

There usually simply isn’t enough room in your mouth for all of your adult teeth and wisdom teeth. As the wisdom teeth grow in, they can cause existing teeth to shift, which alters your ability to chew properly and can be quite painful. Wisdom teeth can also cause considerable damage to the roots of these existing teeth, which can result in considerable pain and risk of the loss of the affected tooth, and additional impacts on the teeth around it.

They Are Hindering Chewing Function And Jaw Movement

Wisdom teeth can grow into the mouth in such a way that they make normal opening and closing of the jaw impossible. By displacing existing teeth, causing swelling in parts of the jaw close to the joint, or by impacting nerves or other teeth in a way that makes opening the jaw too painful. When this occurs, the best course of action is to have the wisdom tooth removed to restore proper speaking and eating function, as well as to ensure proper dental care can be performed.

They Are Causing Pain, Irritation, Or Sinus Issues

Wisdom teeth can cause pain and other issues not only in the teeth and jaw but in other areas of the head and face like your sinuses. Developing wisdom teeth can even push against your sinus cavities, causing discomfort, numbness, or other issues that require the removal of the wisdom tooth to address. Sometimes, a wisdom tooth can impact a nerve in a way that causes pain in an unexpected part of the face, head, or neck. If you experience any unexplained pain in these areas, a proper dental exam can generally determine the cause.

They Are Causing Cavities In Or Bone Loss Around Adjacent Teeth

If a wisdom tooth grows in such a way as to form pockets or abscesses around existing teeth or pressure those teeth to shift in unusual ways, bacteria can accumulate in those spaces and affect your overall oral health. These bacteria can cause cavities or other infections which may result in bone loss, and left untreated can cause the loss of one or more teeth.
Wisdom teeth can also grow in so that they block access to existing teeth and make proper dental hygiene like brushing and flossing difficult or painful. If you can’t properly clean your teeth, you will experience tooth decay as plaque builds up in the inaccessible areas of your mouth.

Summary

Most of us will have our wisdom teeth grow fully by our mid-20s. For many, this can cause discomfort and damage to nearby teeth. If left untreated, other oral health concerns like bone loss and the decay of existing teeth are almost certain to follow.
Even wisdom teeth that grow in without causing immediate pain or damage to existing teeth, they can impair your ability to properly clean your teeth and create areas where bacteria can accumulate, leading to more serious problems over time.
If you suspect you may need to have a wisdom tooth removed or have further questions, contact your dentist today for a thorough examination. You’ll be presented with treatment options that will relieve any discomfort and preserve your oral health.