Wisdom teeth removal isn’t always necessary, but oral surgeons in Richmond, Indiana, and elsewhere in the nation often recommend the procedure. This is to be expected for patients with severely decayed third molars and those whose teeth are stuck or impacted in the gums. However, patients with no growth or bite concerns are also advised to undergo wisdom tooth extraction.
What gives? As it turns out, wisdom teeth removal is considered to be a proactive measure, one that can help prevent the development of gum disease. Below, the professional team at Richmond Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery explains what you need to know.
Prevalence of Gum Disease in Adults with Wisdom Teeth
Experts say that more than 75% of adults over the age of 35 have some form of gum disease. The condition, also known as periodontitis or periodontal disease, begins with an infection of the gums and tissues that hold the teeth in place — and in many cases, ends with tooth loss.
When healthy and fully erupted in the proper position, the rear molars don’t necessarily pose a risk for periodontitis. However, research indicates that a high percentage of patients who still have all four of their third molars present with early signs of periodontal issues. In most, the effects of gum disease are concentrated at the back of the mouth, near the wisdom teeth.
Factors That Increase the Risk of Developing Gum Disease
Periodontitis is more common in patients with abnormal tooth development, and that includes the third molars. That said, there are several other risk factors for gum disease.
First and foremost, poor oral hygiene is a major factor for many patients with periodontal issues. Since the upper and lower rear molars are incredibly difficult to keep clean, keeping them increases the risk.
Furthermore, female hormones make women more susceptible to periodontitis. Certain diseases, including diabetes and rheumatoid arthritis, are also risk factors. And the condition is more prevalent in patients who smoke and those whose diets are high in sugar and acidic foods and drinks.
Should You Consider Wisdom Teeth Removal?
Periodontal disease has been linked to the development of diabetes, heart disease, osteoporosis and other serious health issues. As such, if you show any signs of periodontitis, your dentist or oral surgeon may recommend wisdom tooth extraction — even if your third molars seem to be problem-free.
At Richmond Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, we specialize in wisdom tooth management. Our board-certified oral surgeons have been treating patients in the greater east central Indiana area for more than 10 years, and we’re ready to provide the care you need.