Wisdom teeth, also called the third molars, often cause concerns with oral health, lead to pain, or do not allow for proper spacing to occur. While many individuals can wait until after they are adults to have wisdom teeth removed, a dental professional may recommend early removal for teenagers in certain situations.Wisdom tooth removal may…
What Can Happen If Wisdom Teeth Are Not Removed?
There is no golden rule that makes it compulsory for you to have your wisdom teeth removed, but most people have at least one of them taken out at some point in their lives. The wisdom teeth, which are the third set of molars, usually begin to erupt around the ages of 17 to 25.
Common reasons people need to have one of their wisdom teeth removed include:
- Tooth decay
- Growth issues
Common problems that develop with wisdom teeth
This article will explore the potential issues that can develop when wisdom teeth are not extracted.
Some people have smaller mouths that do not have enough space for all the wisdom teeth to erupt properly. When the third set of molars erupt, they typically overcrowd surrounding teeth. The person's teeth will begin to shift and overlap each other as a result.
This risk becomes even more of a concern if the patient has already received orthodontic treatment. For such a person, the overcrowding can lead to all that work being undone.
2. Impacted wisdom teeth
When a wisdom tooth is impacted, it becomes trapped underneath the gums. This can lead to toothaches and leave the tooth vulnerable to infection and decay. The impacted tooth can also lead to the resorption or deterioration of healthy teeth close to it.
In rare cases, the growth of a back molar can interfere with the person's ability to open and close their mouth correctly. This is usually due to the growth of the tooth being parallel to the jawline.
Pain coming from the back of the jaw is one of the early symptoms of an impacted tooth. X-rays are taken to evaluate the patient and determine if an extraction is needed.
3. Increased susceptibility to tooth decay
The location of wisdom teeth already makes them challenging to clean, but it becomes much harder when the tooth does not grow in correctly.
Special attention needs to be paid to the wisdom teeth during brushing and flossing sessions to ensure that food particles and bacteria are removed from the area. When a wisdom tooth has been severely damaged by decay, dentists typically opt to extract it since that is often cheaper than other treatments and more importantly, it eliminates the possibility of other issues developing in the future.
When a tooth has been severely damaged by tooth decay to the point that the contents of the pulp chamber are now exposed to the saliva and bacteria in the mouth, an infection is virtually inevitable if the decay is not treated.
A root canal can be performed to treat an infected wisdom tooth, but dentists usually advice against this since the cost can be high and the tooth can still develop other issues down the road. Extraction is typically recommended for such patients.
An extraction brings relief
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