Did you know that keeping your wisdom teeth increases your likelihood of developing periodontal disease (bacterial invasion of gum tissue)? A study conducted by researchers from the American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons found strong evidence of gum disease in the area of the third molars in over 60 percent of patients who were in their twenties and still had their wisdom teeth.
The gum tissue surrounding wisdom teeth is particularly susceptible to disease because the tissue attaches differently to the third molars than to other teeth. Gaps between the tooth and the gum are more common in this area, and bacteria persistently invade and collect in those pockets creating a site for chronic disease and infection.
Gum disease is a serious threat to your overall health. In advanced cases, gum disease can lead to the loss of teeth and jaw bone, which can affect your appearance, in addition to your ability to chew and speak properly.
In addition to the damage done to your mouth, the inflammation associated with gum disease can cause problems elsewhere in the body. One substance responsible for inflammation of the gums, known as c-reactive protein, has been linked with other systemic conditions, such as heart disease and diabetes, as well as low birth weights in babies.
Even if your wisdom teeth do come in without any problems, they usually still are a breeding ground for bacteria. The location of the third molars makes keeping them clean a major challenge. It’s virtually impossible to brush or floss effectively that far back in the oral cavity with high riding gum tissue around those teeth.
Consult with Dr. Steven Koos D.D.S., M.D., an experienced, dual -degree oral surgeon in Chicago to learn more about preventing gum disease by having your wisdom teeth removed.