Wisdom teeth tend to appear after adolescence (when a person is more “wise”, thus the name “wisdom teeth”). Their emergence can be painful as well as damaging to tooth alignment if they’re allowed to come in fully. In fact, 85% of wisdom teeth negatively affect oral health and have to be removed.
Part of our approach to your family’s ongoing dental healthcare plan will include the monitoring and removal of wisdom teeth. Typically, the earlier we can notice and remove wisdom teeth, the better — early removal can prevent damage to neighboring healthy teeth, bone, gum tissue, nerves, and blood vessels.
The two chief issues with wisdom teeth are poor alignment and impaction. Wisdom teeth can erupt (grow in) at an angle, pushing on nearby straight teeth and altering their alignment. Sometimes the wisdom teeth become impacted: they completely develop, but they don’t erupt, remaining completely encased in the jaw’s soft tissue, or they only partially erupt, creating a passageway for bacteria to get into the soft tissue.
Some have the fortune of avoiding problems with wisdom teeth altogether, but in the worst cases, gum infections, jawbone cysts, and bone loss can occur. Therefore, our providers most often err on the side of caution and recommend having them removed.