The truth about wisdom teeth by Colin Maher BDS (Cork)
Just as you enter adulthood, your wisdom teeth make their presence known in the far reaches of your mouth usually between the ages of 17-25 years of age. For some, these teeth come in fine. But for many others, wisdom teeth don’t come in properly (if at all) and are vulnerable to disease and hence often need to be removed to protect a healthy mouth.
Anatomy is at the root of most problems with wisdom teeth. Because of the lack of space generally in modern humans, molars can grow sideways, only partially emerge from the gums (partially impacted wisdom teeth), or get trapped in the gums and jawbone (impacted wisdom teeth). Erupted and impacted wisdom teeth can be chronically contaminated with bacteria associated with infection, inflammation, tooth decay, and gum disease. Because they are so far back in the mouth, it is quite challenging to keep them clean and remove the bacteria effectively.
Because wisdom teeth are predisposed to problems, you’ll have to be vigilant about oral hygiene and keeping regular dental appointments. If wisdom teeth show signs of disease or decay, your dentist will strongly suggest getting them removed. Difficulty in maintaining good oral hygiene in these regions can also lead to dental disease in the adjacent teeth that may not be repairable. Most wisdom teeth can be removed under local anaesthetic painlessly.
How to manage your wisdom teeth is ultimately your decision. But bear in mind, easier access to effectively clean your functional first and second molars greatly reduces the likelihood of developing dental disease.