Older Adults with Wisdom Teeth at Increased Risk for Periodontal Disease
Dr. Hudson and his team at Oklahoma Wisdom Teeth Center understand the anxiety surrounding wisdom teeth extraction and meet many patients who initially prefer to forgo the procedure. "They aren’t bothering me," many patients say to Dr. Hudson, "so I think I’m just going to leave them alone." No harm, no foul, right? Well, not quite. While wisdom teeth may not cause problems in the short term, they can negatively impact your dental health long term.
As more adults are opting out of wisdom teeth extraction, dentists are seeing an increased incidence of periodontal disease in older patients. Periodontal disease is a bacterial infection around the teeth and gums which cause inflammation.
On average, adults 52 years and older with wisdom teeth are roughly 1.5 times more prone to suffer from periodontal disease. In a study sponsored by the American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons and the Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery Foundation, researchers found a link between wisdom teeth and periodontal disease. For patients who opted to keep their wisdom teeth, 60 percent exhibited early gum disease.
Because wisdom teeth are located in the back of the mouth, their position makes them more difficult to clean. As a result, bacteria can infect the gums. This can happen with almost any wisdom teeth situation. However, it becomes more prominent with wisdom teeth that are partially impacted. When the tooth partially protrudes from the gum, it creates what some dentists refer to as "food pockets," a small space where food can become trapped and difficult to remove. Bacteria can then form causing tooth damage and eventually requiring tooth extraction.
Wisdom teeth extraction can be an intimidating procedure, and many patients have likely heard a horror story or two from a friend or family member. Dr. Hudson and his team go to great lengths to ease their patients’ concerns and provide a comfortable and secure experience from start to finish. Contact our office today at 888-724-7986 to schedule an appointment and see if wisdom teeth extraction is right for you.