What Could Happen If I Don’t Have My Wisdom Teeth Removed?

Wisdom teeth issues are common, and getting them removed relatively soon helps prevent future concerns. Wisdom teeth are second molars that emerge at the rear of the mouth in late adolescence or early adulthood. The number of wisdom teeth that erupt can range from one to four, more than four in rare cases. Some people are fortunate enough to never have them.

Wisdom tooth issues are a common concern that most people face at some point in their lives. Read the following information to know what kind of problems a wisdom tooth can cause if left untreated. A troublesome wisdom tooth should be extracted as soon as possible to avoid future oral health problems. This is why, during routine dental examinations, the last pair of molars, often known as wisdom teeth, are monitored for any growth issues, infection, or intense pain to determine the need for their removal.

Although not everyone with wisdom teeth has them removed, ignoring them can lead to additional risks and complications in some cases. Furthermore, wisdom teeth removal should ideally be performed in patients aged 18-24, i.e. before the roots of the teeth have fully formed, otherwise, removal will be difficult and may result in nerve damage.

What Kind of Problems Can Wisdom Teeth Cause?

In some cases, the wisdom tooth does not fully erupt and remains beneath the gum line. This can occur when they have a small mouth, leaving no room for the wisdom teeth to appear at the mouth corners. An impacted tooth is a partially erupted tooth. It can either be free of problems or cause the following symptoms:

  • Gums tenderness
  • Bad taste or persistent bad breath (called halitosis)
  • Cysts or tumor growth
  • Periodontal disease
  • Redness and inflammation of the gums
  • Jaw ache and swelling
  • Headache

What Problems are Associated with a Wisdom Tooth?

The following information gives an insight into what health problems can wisdom teeth cause. A cavity is more likely in an impacted wisdom tooth because it is stuck in the gums and daily brushing and flossing is more difficult. Microbes can begin to accumulate and become trapped in the gum pocket, spreading around the wisdom tooth. It frequently leads to pericoronitis or operculitis, a bacterial infection of the gums and dental follicles. Initially, the condition may be associated with minor inflammation, but as the infection spreads, it can become an acute condition due to increased swelling, pain, and fever.

A bothersome wisdom tooth can even increase the chances of developing gum disease and putting extra pressure on adjacent healthy teeth due to overcrowding, causing enamel deterioration and resorption of healthy teeth.

If the person already has braces, a partial or improper wisdom tooth eruption can still cause other teeth to shift, jeopardizing the orthodontic treatment. The shift can be parallel to the jawline or even backward, interfering with the jaw opening and closing.

If the wisdom tooth remains buried in the gum, cysts or tumors may form around the roots or crowns of the tooth, causing soft tissue and jawbone damage. This can go undetected for several months as the jawbone deteriorates, becoming apparent only when the jawbone weakens and breaks.

Wisdom teeth may grow at an incorrect angle in some patients, causing them to appear crooked. This can cause tooth misalignment, bite problems, and, as a result, permanent damage to the adjacent teeth.

Aside from these oral issues, wisdom tooth problems can have a significant impact on overall health. For example, an infection around a wisdom tooth can spread to other parts of the body, causing damage to vital organs such as the heart and lungs, as well as creeping into the brain, resulting in a severe headache—a potentially fatal condition. 

Why Wisdom Teeth Must be Extracted?

The following are some of the reasons why wisdom teeth extraction should be done as soon as possible:

  • Relief from a sore jaw or headache
  • Avoid permanent teeth overlapping and shifting in order to fit the wisdom tooth into a small mouth.
  • Risk of cysts- A fluid-filled sac may form near the wisdom tooth, causing damage to its roots, soft tissues, and bones. In severe cases, they can develop into benign tumors that require surgical removal in addition to wisdom tooth removal.
  • There will be no more food debris trapped between the gums and the impacted wisdom teeth to welcome microbial growth, allowing oral hygiene to be maintained.
  • Preventing sinus pressure, which can lead to congestion, sinusitis, and headaches.
  • Avoiding complications later in life
  • Protection of nearby healthy teeth
  • They are unnecessary! Scientists consider wisdom teeth to be useless vestigial organs. Their function has become obsolete due to changes in our diet (much softer and chewable), which previously included plant roots and raw food.

If you put off having your wisdom teeth removed, the complications and risks associated with the procedure, such as nerve damage, are more likely to increase, and recovery time will be extended. Make an appointment with The Dental Specialist to know more about wisdom teeth extraction and what kind of problems can wisdom teeth cause in detail. 

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