Heads Up On Why Wisdom Teeth Should Be Removed


Heads Up On Why Wisdom Teeth Should Be RemovedMany times, however, wisdom teeth, the third molars in the very back of your mouth, don’t have room to grow properly and cause problems. Erupting wisdom teeth can grow at various angles in the jaw, sometimes even horizontally. Some wisdom teeth only partially emerge through the gums. Other times, they remain completely hidden. Wisdom teeth that aren’t able to emerge normally become impacted, or trapped, within your jaw.

To prevent an impacted tooth, dentists often recommend removing the wisdom teeth before they emerge or grow too large. Many dentists believe it’s better to remove the teeth when someone is younger and more likely to recover faster from surgery. This is why many teenagers or young adults have their wisdom teeth extracted before the teeth cause problems and become more firmly rooted in the jaw.


Dental problems May Occur

If your wisdom teeth have only partially grown through, food and bacteria can get trapped under the edge of the gum, around the wisdom tooth. Even when they have fully emerged, wisdom teeth are difficult to clean. As wisdom teeth are at the back of your mouth, and often wedged against your other teeth, they can be difficult to reach with a toothbrush. As a result, food particles and bacteria can get trapped around them, leading to a build-up of plaque.

Plaque is a sticky film formed when bacteria in your mouth combine with acid, saliva and small particles of food that are left after brushing. If plaque isn’t removed it can cause a number of dental problems, such as those described below.

  1. Dental caries (tooth decay) – plaque begins to break down the surface of your tooth. When tooth decay becomes more advanced it leaves cavities (holes) in the tooth. Cavities may also affect the teeth next to the wisdom teeth (second molars).
  2. Gum disease (also called gingivitis or periodontal disease) – the plaque releases toxins (poisons) that irritate your gums, making them red, swollen and painful. Gum disease can also affect the teeth next to the wisdom teeth (first and second molars) and the bone surrounding the wisdom teeth.
  3. Pericoronitis – the plaque causes an infection of the soft tissue that surrounds the tooth.
  4. Cellulitis – a bacterial infection in the cheek, tongue or throat.
  5. Osteomyelitis – an infection inside the bone of your jaw.
  6. Abscess – pus collects around wisdom teeth and the surrounding tissue as a result of a bacterial infection.
  7. Cysts and benign growths – very rarely, a wisdom tooth that hasn’t burst through the gum develops a cyst.


How Are Wisdom Teeth Removed?

After any elected methods of sedation have started to take effect, the oral surgeon or dentist will start the procedure by:

  • Numbing the tooth and tissues in the area of the mouth, where the wisdom teeth are located, with local anesthetic.
  • Any tissue and bone that is covering the tooth will be removed with the appropriate surgical instruments.
  • Extraction instruments are used to loosen the tooth from any connective tissue in the tooth’s socket.
  • Once the tooth is loose enough, the dentist removes it with dental forceps.

It may be necessary for the dentist to use stitches to close the tissue to aide in the healing process.


Removing your wisdom teeth may not be your dentist’s first option because many of the above problems can be treated with antibiotics or antiseptic mouthwash. However, removal will be necessary if disease of, or around, the wisdom teeth can’t be treated any other way.

Oral, Maxillofacial, and Implant Surgery

Dr. Fred A. Loe, DDS, PA oms@northtarrant.com
Our goal is to provide the best service possible!

820 Towne Court
Saginaw, TX 76179

Office:      (817) 259-1372‎
Fax:           (817) 237-7585


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