College Students and Wisdom Teeth

Should my college student get their wisdom teeth removed?

If you’re a college student and still have your wisdom teeth, the ideal window of time to have them removed is closing. So, we encourage you to schedule a consultation to chat with an oral surgeon as soon as possible. Are you wondering why this is a big deal and what’s the rush? Read on to discover why having your wisdom teeth removed even when they are not causing you issues is almost always the right thing to do.

Wisdom Teeth Removal as a Rite of Passage

Have you noticed that many of your friends have had their wisdom teeth removed just before or during their college years? Our third set of molars are called wisdom teeth because they usually come in when we’re in our teens, entering adulthood, and becoming wiser.  If we have them removed before the roots are fully established, the extraction process goes much smoother and we face fewer complications in the future.

Why should I have my wisdom teeth removed?

The most common question around wisdom teeth removal is why they need to be removed when they feel fine. Wisdom teeth, themselves, are not the problem. It’s the damage they can cause to the rest of the mouth that is the issue. The longer you wait, the greater the chances are you’ll have a more complicated removal. Studies show that the body will regenerate bone, decreasing the likelihood of severe bone loss, if the wisdom teeth are removed before the age of 26.

Following are the top 5 reasons for the removal of painless and seemingly unnoticeable wisdom teeth:

Overcrowding and Misalignment

When wisdom teeth begin to erupt, we already have 28 teeth in our mouth, so there isn’t much room left for four more molars. As they push their way in, they tend to prevent neighboring teeth from aligning properly, and they crowd the mouth, pushing and misaligning other teeth. Whether your straight smile is due to years of orthodontic treatment or good genes, wisdom teeth can undo your perfect smile.

Gum Infection and Inflammation

When a wisdom tooth is partially impacted (a condition that occurs for most people in at least one tooth), it gets stuck in the gums, unable to fully erupt. This normally creates a gap between the tooth and the gums, a place where bacteria likes to set up camp and cause an infection. Other potential dangers include gum disease and inflammation.

Poor Dental Hygiene

If your wisdom teeth have come in and your teeth still seem straight, they are probably tighter, and your mouth is crowded nonetheless. This makes it extremely difficult to care for your teeth properly. When teeth are too snug and space is at a minimum, flossing becomes nearly impossible. Your teeth become prime targets for cavities and plaque buildup when you’re unable to brush and floss your teeth adequately.

Tumors and Cysts

When your wisdom teeth can’t fully erupt and becomes impacted, it can cause tiny tumors or cysts in your jawbone. Those lesions can lead to jaw bone pain which would require major surgical treatment, turning a relatively small procedure into a larger, more complicated series of treatments.

Damage to Neighboring Teeth

When wisdom teeth come in, they typically cause more harm to nearby teeth than simply invading their space. Up close and personal, they can contribute to decay and bone loss in the molars that are next to them.

Still not sure?

In addition to leading to serious complications and diseases, impacted wisdom teeth can lead to jaw pain and swelling, inflammation, bleeding, irritated gums, bad breath, gum and bone loss, as well as damage to the structure in your mouth. We recommend calling a wisdom teeth expert such as Dr. Valiente today to discuss your unique situation. Don’t wait until it’s too late. It’s always safer to be proactive rather than reactive!