Wisdom teeth, also known as third molars, are the last set of teeth to develop in the back of the mouth. They often do not have enough room to properly emerge and can cause many problems. In most cases, they are removed to prevent these problems from occurring.
Some of the common reasons for removal include:
- Impacted teeth: Wisdom teeth that do not have enough room to fully emerge can become lodged or stuck in the jaw, leading to pain, swelling, and infection.
- Crowding: Wisdom teeth can push against and damage adjacent teeth, leading to shifting or crowding of other teeth.
- Decay or Gum Disease: Wisdom teeth that are partially erupted can be difficult to clean, making them more susceptible to decay and gum disease.
- Cyst or Tumour: Impacted wisdom teeth can cause cysts or tumours to form in the jaw, which can weaken or damage the jaw bone.
- Orthodontic treatment: If a patient is undergoing orthodontic treatment to straighten their teeth, wisdom teeth can disrupt the progress and cause the teeth to shift again.
Whilst not everyone will need to have their wisdom teeth removed, if they are causing pain, discomfort or potential future dental problems, it is recommended to remove them.