Many people have their wisdom teeth removed at some point in their lives. These back molars don’t always need a removal. However, there are many times when dentists recommend they come out. So, what happens if you don’t get your wisdom teeth out?

wisdom teeth

What Is The Purpose Of Wisdom Teeth?

Your wisdom teeth are your last 4 molars that usually erupt between ages 17-21. These last 4 molars come in the very back of your mouth to complete your set of adult teeth. Not everyone gets their wisdom teeth. In fact, some people may get half a set. Dentists keep a close eye on developing teeth through annual x-rays and patient visits. 

Why Should You Get Your Wisdom Teeth Removed?

If your wisdom teeth are healthy then most dentists will leave them alone. If you can easily clean your teeth, it’s also fine. Many dentists recommend removing wisdom teeth sooner than later. Most people feel their teeth erupt from ages 17-25. Some feel it sooner and others never feel them at all. 

Sometimes, the teeth grow crookedly and interfere with your other teeth. This is often called “impacted.” When your wisdom teeth have an impaction, it’s time to take them out. There are many problems that occur from impacted wisdom teeth. Let’s look at them. 

Mouth Pain

You may think that your wisdom teeth are fine because you don’t have any problems with them. The problem is that over time, symptoms can develop. Impacted wisdom teeth can cause a lot of pain in your whole mouth. These teeth can push on your healthy teeth and create new problems with them. The pressure can cause pain and discomfort. 

Risk of Infections

If left in your mouth, wisdom teeth can cause mouth infections. This happens when the tooth doesn’t break all the way through your gums. Some wisdom teeth partly cut through the gumline. If you can’t see the tooth, it’s hard to clean. Plaque builds up around the area and eventually causes an infection. 

Jaw Infection

Extra teeth, such as wisdom teeth, can cause issues with your other teeth. If your wisdom teeth are crowding your other teeth, they can’t grow correctly. This can also interfere with your jawline and cause damage there.

Wisdom teeth can grow at any angle in your mouth. When they push and crowd out other teeth, they can grow into your jawline as well. When this happens, fluid-filled sacs can form on the area. These are called “cysts.” If you don’t treat them, they can grow can cause permanent nerve damage to your jaw. 

Gum Infection

Depending on the angle of the tooth, it can get caught along the gumline. Your gum tissue may become swollen and painful. This is hard and painful to clean. Some people avoid this painful area when doing oral hygiene because it hurts. Gum disease and infections can happen if you can’t take care of the area.
If only part of the tooth is sticking out, your gums can grow over the tooth. This creates a small hole where food and plaque can hide. Then, you can experience gum inflammation, bleeding, and infections. 

Mouth Odor

When you have infections that are not treated, it can create severe bad breath. Trapped food that sits in the gum line can rot which also causes a bad taste in your mouth. Over time, it leads to bad breath. 

Sinus Pain

There are teeth in your mouth that connect to your sinus cavity. There are times when you think you have a sinus infection because of sinus pain. However, the cause may come from an impacted tooth that’s pressing on your sinus area.  

Bone Loss 

The tissue around your wisdom teeth and develop cysts. These cysts are often infected and that leads to bone loss if it’s not treated. The cysts grow and invade the nerves around the bone. Over time, the bone wears down and becomes thin. Thin bones lead to fractures. 

Nerve Damage

Teeth that don’t break through the gum line can eat at your roots. Sometimes the roots of the wisdom teeth are close to your nerve canals. If this happens, it’s often difficult to remove the wisdom tooth without damaging your nerve canals. 

Risk Of Cavities

cavities

Dentists recommend that you brush at least twice a day and visit the office at least twice a year. We all hope the dentist doesn’t find any cavities during the visit. If you have wisdom teeth, your risk of cavities increases. It’s hard to brush and floss in that area. Toothbrushes and floss can only reach so far. If you visit the dentist, they can recommend whether or not to remove your wisdom teeth to prevent cavities. 

What Happens During Wisdom Teeth Removal?

Your dentist will decide if you need to have your wisdom teeth you. If you decided to have your teeth removed, here’s what you need to know. 

Ask Questions Before You Decide

It’s important to ask questions before you decide on any surgery. Ask the dentist how many teeth they’ll remove. Also, ask about recovery times, possible nerve damage, or complications for anesthesia. Your dentist will likely cover these questions before you even ask them.  

Preparing For Surgery

Wisdom tooth extraction is an outpatient procedure. It doesn’t take a long time. You’ll need to prepare to have someone drive you home after the procedure. You’ll still feel the effects of the anesthesia. The office will call you the day before to remind you when to stop eating and drinking. You don’t want to interfere with the anesthesia. They’ll also tell you what medications to avoid and what you can have after the procedure.  

During Surgery

During the extraction, the dentist or oral surgeon makes an incision along the gumline. They’ll remove bone parts that block the tooth and then remove the tooth. They’ll gently clean the area and stitch the incision site. Most surgeons use dissolvable stitches. Lastly, they place gauze over the area to absorb the bleeding. 

Recovery Process

After the procedure, the dentist waits for you to awake before you leave. They’ll give you written instructions on bleeding, pain medication, eating, cleaning your mouth, and more. It’s very important to follow the instructions carefully. This will prevent infections in your mouth. Many dentists recommend rinsing your mouth with salt water to aid the healing process. 

When to Call The Dentist

Make sure that you give the dentist if you have any severe bleeding or swelling that lasts more than 2 days. It could mean an issue with the healing process. 

How Do I Prevent Wisdom Tooth Problems

If you still have your wisdom teeth, there are some things you can do to avoid future problems. The first step is to keep your regular dental appointments. Your dentist can monitor the teeth growth and catch any issues early on. It’s important to remember that you can’t keep impacted teeth from growing. You can contact your dentist as soon as you know there’s an issue. If you’re experiencing pain, bleeding, or inflammation, your dentist will probably extract your teeth.

Karl Townsend Administrator
Having suffered for decades, I know a thing or two about bad oral hygiene. That\'s why I started this site. To help educate and inform visitors on good oral products and how to keep your teeth and gums healthy.
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