Most of us get our wisdom teeth, also known as our third molars, taken out as a preventive measure without even thinking about it. This usually happens around ages 17-21. However, the procedure actually comes with some health risks that many of us don’t really consider. Because of these potential complications, wisdom tooth removal may not be as necessary as we originally thought. Read on below to learn more about wisdom tooth extraction in Medford.
Why Do We Have Wisdom Teeth?
Third molars are the teeth that erupt in the very back of the mouth around age 18. Although their exact purpose is unknown, many anthropologists hypothesize that they were originally helpful in chewing the rough food that our ancestors ate, like raw vegetables, meat, and nuts. However, with our modern diet of softer and more processed foods, they’re not exactly needed anymore.
Why Do We Extract Wisdom Teeth in Medford?
Many dentists recommend wisdom tooth removal for several reasons:
- Impaction: This occurs when a tooth does not fully erupt out of the gumline because another tooth is blocking it. Impacted wisdom teeth are more likely to attract bacteria and cause decay to the surrounding teeth.
- Overcrowding: This is especially a risk if the patient already has a crowded mouth. It may cause teeth to become misaligned and increase the risk of decay.
- Harder to clean: Because wisdom teeth are so far back in the mouth, many people can’t successfully brush or floss them. This results in a higher likelihood of bacteria accumulating, causing cavities and gum disease.
What Are the Risks of Wisdom Tooth Extraction?
No surgical procedure is without its risks. General anesthesia may present health problems for certain people. In addition, there is always an unfortunate chance of infection, especially if the patient already has poor oral health or a disease that compromises their immune system, such as HIV/AIDS or diabetes. Another main concern is dry socket, a painful condition where the blood clot formed over the extraction site becomes detached early. Bacteria may then enter the site and cause infection and extreme discomfort.
When Should You Consider Getting Your Wisdom Teeth Taken Out?
While not everyone should have their third molars removed, there are cases where it’s the best option. Here are some of the reasons the procedure may be needed:
- Repeated gum infection or gum disease
- Abscesses, cysts, or tumors in the mouth
- Extreme tooth decay
- Damage to the surrounding teeth and bone
In conclusion, schedule a consultation with your dentist to determine whether wisdom tooth extraction is necessary in your case.
About the Practice
At Premier Dental Care in Medford, OR, we have a team of five highly experienced doctors to deliver truly comprehensive dental care under one roof, including wisdom tooth extractions right here in the office. We provide sedation to make sure you are comfortable throughout the procedure and the days following it. To learn if your wisdom teeth need to be removed, contact us on our website or call us at (541) 200-6747.