The need to remove wisdom teeth varies with each individual. As a general rule if they are expected to require removal, it is better to have the wisdom teeth removed at a younger age(late teens or early twenties),for rapid healing and ease of removal.
Wisdom teeth are a valuable asset to the mouth when they are healthy and properly positioned. Often, however, problems develop that require their removal when they don’t take an ideal position. When the jaw isn’t large enough to accommodate wisdom teeth, they can become impacted (unable to come in or misaligned). Wisdom teeth may grow sideways, emerge only part way from the gum or remain trapped beneath the gum and bone.
Extraction of wisdom teeth is generally recommended when:
- Wisdom teeth only partially erupt. This leaves an opening for bacteria to enter around the tooth and cause an infection. Pain, swelling, jaw stiffness and general illness can result.
- There is a chance that the poorly aligned wisdom teeth will damage adjacent teeth.
- A cyst (fluid-filled sac) forms, destroying surrounding structures such as bone or tooth roots.
- Decay occurs on the enamel of the wisdom tooth caused by the tooth’s position and difficulty in maintaining good hygiene around it.