The two most common reasons why your dentist may recommend the removal of a wisdom tooth is impaction and severe tooth decay.
Impaction – There are circumstances where a wisdom tooth can fail to erupt from your gums correctly (it erupts angled or at the wrong position) or remain embedded inside your gums. Such a wisdom tooth can cause many problems if left untreated; your dentist mostly recommends dental surgery to remove the tooth.
Tooth decay – If you fail to take care of your teeth properly, expect bacteria to eat away at your tooth, leading to decay that causes holes. If this continues unchecked, the decay can reach the pulp cavity, leading to tooth and gum infections. At this point, you would be in pain; taking pain medication is not the solution. Visit your dentist as soon as possible before severe damage occurs and the only option left is to remove the part of the tooth remaining.
Here's what you need to know about tooth impaction:
Why Does Tooth Impaction Happen?
An impacted tooth occurs mostly because of a genetic condition, having a small jaw, having overcrowded teeth and having excessively soft gum tissue.
When your wisdom tooth starts to develop, it may find an obstruction from adjacent teeth and grow at an angle, away or towards adjacent teeth. If the latter happens, you might feel some pain as the wisdom tooth presses against the adjacent tooth. The wisdom tooth might erupt from the gums angled with part of the crown left in your gums.
You can also come across a case where your wisdom tooth grows parallel to your gums, meaning it won't erupt from the top side of your gums. It can remain within your gums or erupt from a weird position like the side of your gums. The impacted wisdom tooth can also get embedded in your jawbone. You will, of course, notice some discomfort or pain, which is a sign that you should visit your dentist as soon as possible.
What Can You Expect from Your Dentist?
Your dentist will require a dental X-ray to get a clear picture of how your impacted tooth is positioned. This clear picture helps develop a surgical plan to remove the impacted wisdom tooth, which your dentist will share with you.
What Happens If You Don't Get Treatment?
As indicated above, an impacted tooth can erupt in the wrong place leading to pain and discomfort in your mouth. If not treated, your gums can become infected, which can be very painful.
Impacted teeth that become embedded in your jawbone get encased in a sac that fills with fluid. The sac forms a tumour or cyst; it needs to be removed as soon as possible to prevent bone damage.
To learn more about wisdom teeth removal, reach out to a local dentist.