Wisdom teeth, also known as third molars, are the last set of teeth to emerge in the back of the mouth. For many people, these teeth can become a cause for concern, as they often don’t have enough room to grow properly. As a result, they can lead to a range of oral health issues. The question is, what happens if you don’t have your wisdom teeth removed?

  1. Crowding and Misalignment: Most mouths do not have enough space to accommodate the eruption of wisdom teeth. When these molars attempt to emerge, they can push against the existing teeth, causing overcrowding and misalignment. This can lead to a myriad of dental problems, including crooked teeth and a misaligned bite.
  2. Impacted Wisdom Teeth: Wisdom teeth may become impacted, meaning they remain partially or fully trapped beneath the gum line. Impacted wisdom teeth can be painful and prone to infection. They may also lead to the development of cysts, which can damage nearby teeth and bone.
  3. Gum Infections and Inflammation: Partially erupted wisdom teeth create an opening in the gums, making them susceptible to bacterial infections. These infections can cause redness, swelling, and pain in the back of your mouth. If left untreated, the infection can spread to neighboring teeth and even to other parts of the body.
  4. Decay and Gum Disease: Wisdom teeth are challenging to clean due to their location at the back of the mouth. As a result, they are more susceptible to decay and gum disease. The difficulty in accessing these teeth with a toothbrush or floss can lead to the buildup of plaque and bacteria.
  5. Jaw Pain and Headaches: Problems with wisdom teeth can exert pressure on the jawbone, leading to jaw pain and headaches. In severe cases, the pressure from impacted wisdom teeth may cause damage to the jaw joint, resulting in temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ).
  6. Sinus Issues: The roots of upper wisdom teeth are close to the sinuses. In some cases, their removal can create a communication between the mouth and sinus cavity, leading to sinus problems and infections.

While not everyone will experience complications with their wisdom teeth, it’s difficult to predict how these teeth will develop over time. Routine dental checkups, including X-rays, can help identify potential issues early on.

Ultimately, the decision to have your wisdom teeth removed should be made in consultation with your dentist or oral surgeon. They will assess your individual situation and recommend the best course of action. Wisdom teeth removal is a common and relatively straightforward procedure, often performed under anesthesia for minimal discomfort.

At The Center for Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, we can provide you a free consultation to see if it’s time to consider wisdom tooth removal. Please contact our office to setup a consultation today and one of our surgeons will take a look and provide you with an expert opinion on when the right time for removal will be for you.