Wisdom Teeth Removal: Preserve Your Investment in Orthodontic Treatment

wisdom teeth CharlottesvilleDid you receive braces as a child or teenager? Did you know that when your wisdom teeth come in they could reverse all the progress made by orthodontic treatment? It is true. When wisdom teeth erupt through the gums in early adulthood, they will crowd existing teeth, causing them to become crowded, crooked, and even overlapped. Not only can having your wisdom teeth removed preserve the investment you made during orthodontic treatment, it can help prevent problematic conditions such as tooth decay, TMJ disorder, and periodontal disease. Following are some important reasons why wisdom teeth removal is beneficial to your oral health.

Wisdom Teeth and Tooth Alignment

All adult teeth except wisdom teeth emerge in late childhood and early adolescence. Wisdom teeth, however, don’t come through the gums until early adulthood. Since almost all adult teeth are well established in the mouth, there is rarely—if ever—enough room for proper wisdom tooth eruption. Instead, wisdom teeth become “stuck” or impacted in the gums and bone. While they may partially erupt, they can still create spacing issues between teeth. If wisdom teeth are retained, they can cause once straight teeth to overlap and become crooked. In this situation, the sooner that wisdom teeth can be extracted, the better.

Wisdom Teeth and Oral Disease

As mentioned earlier, the partial eruption of wisdom teeth means that patients will have a heightened risk for oral disease if these teeth are not surgically removed. Partially erupted teeth are very prone to becoming infected. This is because food and bacteria become trapped under gums and cannot be brushed away very easily with oral hygiene. Moreover, debris and food can inflame the gingival tissue around wisdom teeth. Many patients who retain impacted wisdom teeth tend to develop painful infections called abscesses later in life. Additionally, wisdom tooth retention can cause quality of life problems including headaches, facial pain, and TMJ disorder.

If your dentist has referred you to an oral surgeon for a tooth extraction, we invite you to contact Charlottesville Oral Surgery & Dental Implant Center to schedule a consultation.