What Happens If You Don’t Remove Your Wisdom Teeth?

Wisdom teeth are the third molars that usually emerge during early adulthood. While many people have their wisdom teeth removed, some may choose to keep them. However, failing to remove your wisdom teeth can lead to a host of potential risks and complications.

One of the most significant risks associated with leaving wisdom teeth in place is tooth decay and gum disease. Wisdom teeth can be challenging to clean and may become areas of bacteria buildup. This can lead to infection, causing pain and discomfort. In some cases, the infection can spread to other areas of the mouth and even cause systemic health problems.

Another complication of keeping your wisdom teeth is damage to the surrounding teeth and jaw. Wisdom teeth can push against other teeth, causing misalignment, or even damage to the nearby structures. In some cases, the pressure caused by wisdom teeth can cause cysts or tumors to form around the area.

  • If left untreated, these complications can lead to chronic pain, further infections, and even damage to your overall oral health. If you decide to keep your wisdom teeth, it’s crucial to maintain good oral hygiene and have them inspected regularly by a dental professional.
Potential risks of keeping wisdom teeth 
– Infections– Damage to surrounding teeth
– Cysts and tumors

Why are wisdom teeth removed?

Wisdom teeth, also known as third molars, are located at the back of the mouth and typically emerge during early adulthood. While some people’s wisdom teeth come in without causing any issues, many experience discomfort, pain, and other complications. It’s for this reason that dentists frequently recommend removing wisdom teeth before these issues develop.

  • One of the primary reasons for removing wisdom teeth is that they can become impacted or unable to come in properly if there isn’t enough room in the mouth. This can cause pain, swelling, and infections.
  • Wisdom teeth are also more difficult to clean than other teeth, increasing the risk of decay and gum disease.
  • Additionally, wisdom teeth can push other teeth out of alignment, causing orthodontic issues and even damage to surrounding teeth. In some cases, cysts may also form around impacted wisdom teeth, damaging adjacent teeth and bones if left untreated.

In short, wisdom teeth are typically removed due to the potential complications they can cause, which can negatively impact overall oral health if left untreated.

Potential risks of keeping wisdom teeth

While wisdom teeth are a natural part of the human dental composition, they can become problematic if left untreated. In fact, there are several potential risks associated with keeping your wisdom teeth that should be a cause for concern for anyone who is considering keeping them.

One of the most common risks is the development of infections. This can occur due to the difficulty of cleaning the area around the wisdom teeth, leading to the accumulation of bacteria and food particles. If left untreated, these infections can spread and cause serious oral health problems down the line.

In addition to infections, wisdom teeth can also cause damage to surrounding teeth. Due to their location in the back of the mouth, impacted wisdom teeth can push against adjacent teeth and cause them to shift or even become damaged. Over time, this can lead to other oral health issues and may require extensive treatment to correct.

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Finally, cysts can also form around wisdom teeth, which can cause serious damage to nearby teeth and bone. These cysts can grow unnoticed for years and may require invasive procedures to remove them once they are discovered.

  • Infections due to insufficient cleaning
  • Damage to adjacent teeth
  • Cysts causing harm to nearby teeth and bone

Given the potential risks associated with keeping your wisdom teeth, it’s important to work closely with your dentist to determine the best course of action for your individual dental needs.

Infections

Infections are one of the potential risks of keeping your wisdom teeth. When your wisdom teeth are impacted or partially erupted, they create an opening in your gums, allowing bacteria to enter and cause infections. These infections, if left untreated, can spread to surrounding teeth, gums, and even your jawbone, leading to more serious health problems.

Symptoms of an infection may include pain, swelling, redness, and difficulty opening your mouth. If you experience any of these symptoms, it’s crucial to see a dentist immediately. Ignoring an infected wisdom tooth can result in the infection spreading to other parts of your body and even causing sepsis, a life-threatening condition.

In addition to sepsis, untreated infections can lead to other complications, such as gum disease, cavities, and bone loss. To avoid these potential consequences, it’s important to follow your dentist’s recommendation to remove your wisdom teeth if they are causing any issues or are at risk of causing problems in the future.

Damage to surrounding teeth

Keeping wisdom teeth can potentially cause damage to adjacent teeth and lead to long-term oral health problems if not addressed. One potential issue is when wisdom teeth push against neighboring teeth, causing them to shift or even damage their roots. This can create pockets between the teeth where food and bacteria can accumulate, potentially leading to gum disease and tooth decay. Over time, this damage can worsen and become increasingly difficult to treat, eventually leading to the need for more extensive dental work, including extractions and restorations.

In addition, impacted wisdom teeth can also cause painful infections in the gums and surrounding tissues. This can lead to swelling, redness, and discomfort, making it difficult to eat or speak comfortably. In some cases, these infections can even spread to other parts of the body, leading to more serious health complications.

To prevent these potential issues and ensure long-term oral health, it’s important to discuss wisdom teeth extraction with your dentist or oral surgeon. They can evaluate your unique situation and help determine the best course of action to keep your smile healthy and pain-free.

Cysts

Cysts are a common issue associated with impacted wisdom teeth. When your wisdom teeth don’t have enough space to come out properly, they can become trapped beneath the gum tissue, which can lead to a buildup of fluid around the tooth. This fluid buildup can cause the formation of cysts, which can grow in size and cause damage to nearby teeth and bone.

If cysts are left untreated, they can lead to serious oral health complications, such as nerve damage and the weakening of the jawbone. For this reason, it’s important to have a dental professional monitor the growth of impacted wisdom teeth and address any potential cysts as early as possible.

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If you’re experiencing pain or discomfort in your jaw or surrounding teeth, it’s important to seek prompt dental care. Your dentist can evaluate the position of your wisdom teeth and recommend a treatment plan that will protect your oral health. In some cases, the best course of action may be to remove the impacted teeth, which will eliminate the risk of cysts and other associated complications.

Factors to consider before deciding to keep wisdom teeth

Deciding whether or not to keep your wisdom teeth can be a difficult decision. Factors such as age, position of the teeth, and overall oral health all come into play when considering whether to remove them.

Age is an important consideration when it comes to wisdom teeth. Younger patients may have a better chance of successful extraction and healing compared to older patients. Additionally, if the wisdom teeth are causing problems such as pain or infection, it may be best to get them removed sooner rather than later.

The position of the teeth also plays a role in the decision-making process. If the wisdom teeth are impacted, meaning they are not fully erupted, they may be at risk for infection, cysts, and other complications. In such cases, it may be best to have them removed to prevent future problems.

Overall oral health is another important factor when determining whether to keep or remove wisdom teeth. If you have a history of dental problems or infections, it may be in your best interest to have the teeth extracted. Likewise, if your oral hygiene habits are poor, keeping the teeth may lead to future problems such as decay or gum disease.

Ultimately, the decision to keep or remove your wisdom teeth should be made in consultation with your dentist or oral surgeon. They can assess your individual situation and provide professional advice based on your unique needs and circumstances.

Age

The age of the patient is an important factor to consider when deciding whether to keep or remove their wisdom teeth. Generally, it’s easier to remove wisdom teeth in younger patients before the roots have fully developed and the bone is less dense. Younger patients also tend to experience fewer complications during and after the extraction procedure, such as bleeding and swelling. On the other hand, older patients may have a higher risk of complications due to age-related health problems or medications they may be taking. It’s important to keep in mind that regardless of age, wisdom teeth that are impacted or causing problems should be removed to prevent further damage to the surrounding teeth and gums.

In some cases, the position of the wisdom teeth can also impact the decision to keep or remove them. For example, if the teeth are angled in a way that causes them to push against other teeth, they may need to be removed regardless of the patient’s age. Ultimately, the decision to keep or remove wisdom teeth should be made on a case-by-case basis and with the guidance of a dental professional. Factors such as the patient’s age, overall oral health, and the position of the wisdom teeth all play a role in determining the best course of action.

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Position of the teeth

The position of your wisdom teeth is another important factor to consider when deciding whether to keep or remove them. If your wisdom teeth are correctly aligned and have enough room to emerge fully, they may not need to be removed. However, if your wisdom teeth are positioned at an angle or are impacted, they can cause several potential problems.

Wisdom teeth that are angled inwards towards your other teeth can cause crowding and even damage the adjacent teeth, leading to more serious oral health problems down the line. Impacted wisdom teeth, which are unable to fully emerge from the gums, can cause pain, pressure, and swelling. They can also lead to infections and the development of cysts. In severe cases, impacted wisdom teeth can even cause irreversible damage to the surrounding bone and teeth.

Overall, the position of your wisdom teeth is an essential factor in determining whether they need to be removed. Your dentist or oral surgeon can recommend the best course of action based on the position of your wisdom teeth and your overall oral health.

Overall oral health

Overall oral health is a crucial factor that dentists consider when deciding whether to remove wisdom teeth. If your overall oral health is good and your wisdom teeth are not causing any issues, then it may be possible to keep them. However, if you are prone to dental problems, such as cavities or gum disease, or if your wisdom teeth are impacted, then removing them may be the best course of action.

Additionally, if you have braces or are planning to get them, wisdom teeth can pose a problem. They can push against the braces and cause them to shift, leading to longer treatment times and potentially compromising the overall alignment of your teeth. In some cases, keeping wisdom teeth can even impact the health of adjacent teeth, leading to decay or damage.

Before deciding whether to keep or remove your wisdom teeth, it’s important to discuss your overall oral health with your dentist and consider factors such as age and the position of your teeth. Together, you can make an informed decision that will help maintain your long-term oral health.

Conclusion

In conclusion, while wisdom teeth don’t always cause problems, leaving them in can lead to potential risks and complications. Infections, damage to surrounding teeth, and cysts are all possible outcomes of keeping your wisdom teeth. However, before making a decision to have them removed, factors such as age, position of the teeth, and overall oral health should be taken into consideration.

Your dentist can help you determine whether or not it’s in your best interest to remove your wisdom teeth. For example, if you’re younger and your wisdom teeth are starting to come in, it may be easier to remove them before they cause issues. Alternatively, if your wisdom teeth have already fully come in and are not causing any problems, your dentist may recommend that you keep them.

Regardless of the decision, it’s important to maintain good oral hygiene habits. This includes regular dental check-ups and cleanings, brushing twice a day, and flossing daily. By taking preventive measures and making informed decisions, you can help ensure your long-term oral health and avoid potential complications from keeping your wisdom teeth.

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