Wisdom teeth are essentially vestigial. They are teeth that our ancient ancestors needed to fill up a larger jaw that grew in response to eating tough food that required us to chew for about half the day. Wisdom teeth were also needed to make sure we still had teeth at the ripe old age of 35, the expected lifespan for most prehistoric humans.
Today, though, wisdom teeth can cause problems, so they’re commonly removed, either preventively or when complications arise. There are 5 good reasons to get your wisdom teeth removed earlier
Preserve Your Smile
We can often guess when your wisdom teeth are going to cause crowding in your other teeth, and we’ll say so. But if you don’t get your wisdom teeth removed at that, we won’t know for sure that your wisdom teeth are going to cause smile problems until they do.
It’s better to not take a risk on changes to your smile that will require expensive orthodontics to correct.
Avoid Damage to Your Other Teeth
It’s not just crooked teeth that can result from an impacted wisdom tooth. The impacted wisdom tooth can run into one of your other teeth, causing damage directly and setting up a situation that can lead to serious decay and infection. If you don’t get your wisdom teeth removed, you might lose one or more other teeth as a result.
Control Your Downtime
Wisdom tooth removal doesn’t require much recovery time, but it does require some. It’s best to be able to schedule that downtime when it’s convenient for you. Otherwise, if you develop an infection related to your wisdom teeth, removal may have to be done as an emergency procedure, which means that it can bring you down at the worst possible time–when you absolutely cannot afford to take the time off.
And if we do wisdom tooth removal preventively, it will likely mean less downtime (see below).
An Easier Procedure
Removing your wisdom teeth earlier can result in an easier procedure. Before the wisdom teeth are fully developed, they aren’t as secure in the jawbone, which makes them easier to take out. Although it’s a surgical procedure, it’s a simple surgery, and the risks of complications are less.
Emergency removal of wisdom teeth may carry more serious risks, too, such as increased likelihood of serious infection.
Avoiding General Health Complications
A wisdom tooth that’s developing problems doesn’t just cause local complications, such as crooked teeth or damage to its neighbors. Instead, it can cause major health problems, even if it comes in properly. Cleaning wisdom teeth is difficult, which means that they’re more likely to have gum disease around them, and gum disease is associated with many serious health conditions such as heart disease, cancer, and erectile dysfunction. Removing your wisdom teeth early can help avoid these problems and may reduce your overall healthcare costs.