Wisdom teeth received their name because they erupt much later in life than other teeth. Despite what their name suggests, however, wisdom teeth are neither wise nor superior to other molars. In reality, they're more problematic and less useful than their pearly white neighbors. So if you have wisdom teeth, here are five reasons to have them removed.
1. Wisdom Teeth are Prone to Tooth Decay
Thanks to their location in the very back of the mouth, wisdom teeth are difficult to clean properly. Making matters worse, many wisdom teeth become impacted, which means that they are partly covered by gums. This creates an atmosphere where bacteria that cause tooth decay can flourish, oftentimes resulting in painful cavities.
2. Wisdom Teeth May Cause Gum Infections
Cavities and tooth decay aren't the only complications caused by wisdom teeth -- gum infections are another concern. This is due to the difficulty of cleaning the area around your wisdom teeth, and it's particularly problematic if your wisdom teeth are impacted.
In addition to pain and potential loss of teeth, gum disease may actually increase your odds of suffering from other diseases. So if you notice bleeding and inflammation around your wisdom teeth (common signs of gum disease), schedule an appointment to see your dentist as soon as possible.
3. Wisdom Teeth Can Damage Adjacent Molars
If, like many others, your jaw isn't large enough to accommodate your wisdom teeth, you'll likely experience crowding and pain as your wisdom teeth erupt. They may even come in crooked. If the crowding is severe enough, your wisdom teeth could cause damage to nearby molars. Additionally, your other teeth may become crooked due to movement from crowding.
4. Wisdom Teeth Can Damage Your Jawbone and Nerves
The sacs near your wisdom teeth can also be problematic because they can develop cysts. This is due to an excess accumulation of fluid, which can damage your jawbone over time. If this happens, the nerves near your lower wisdom teeth can become damaged, resulting in numbness and tingling.
5. Wisdom Teeth Can Cause Sinus Problems
If you find yourself suffering from chronic sinus pressure and congestion, you may be surprised to learn that your wisdom teeth could be the culprit. Why? Because your upper wisdom teeth are located close to your sinuses. Consequently, the pressure caused by wisdom teeth can make you think you need to take allergy medicine -- when you really just need to see a dentist.
If you're suffering from any of the above problems, speak with a dentist, like one at HP Family Dental, about having your wisdom teeth removed in the near future.