Wisdom teeth are the four molars located in the very back of your mouth. They are the third, final set of molars to come in, and they usually sprout at a younger age, during the late teens to early twenties, though some people’s wisdom teeth may only partially emerge or never grow in.
Some people have wisdom teeth removal surgery before the teeth have even begun to break through the gum surface. Others get their teeth pulled only after the painful eruption of the wisdom teeth has begun.
The reasoning for removing wisdom teeth in teens and young adults has changed over the years. It’s important to understand why you should remove your wisdom teeth in certain cases and when you should avoid this surgery.
In this blog, we’ll look at the following:
- What happens if I don’t take out my wisdom teeth?
- How long can you delay wisdom tooth extraction?
- Why do experts now say not to remove your wisdom teeth?
- What are the positives and negatives of wisdom teeth removal?
What Happens If I Don’t Take Out My Wisdom Teeth?
Wisdom teeth are not, in and of themselves, problematic. It’s the impact they have on the rest of your mouth and your oral hygiene that’s the issue. The two main problems with wisdom teeth include:
Lack of Space
Sometimes, there’s not enough room in the mouth for the wisdom teeth to come in. When your jaw is too small for the teeth to come in properly, they can become impacted, which is painful.
Lack of Hygiene
Even if your mouth is big enough for fully formed wisdom teeth, they grow right next to an area where the jaw turns up. The teeth are flat, which creates periodontal pockets between the teeth and the jaw that are very difficult to clean. Bacteria and plaque can build up in these pockets, leading to tooth decay or gum disease.
You may have also heard people say that wisdom teeth can “crowd” nearby teeth. Oral surgeons once cited this issue as a reason for wisdom teeth removal, but the theory has since fallen out of favor.
How Long Can You Delay Wisdom Tooth Extraction?
Oral surgery and tooth extraction are serious business, and dentists recommend these only in necessary scenarios. However, if you are experiencing any of the following symptoms, which indicate impacted wisdom teeth, you may need to have the teeth out immediately:
- Infections in the back of the mouth
- Sharp, repeated pain in your gums tissue (When you brush and floss, eat or drink, or without any trigger)
- Tumors or fluid-filled cysts
- Gum disease
- Frequent bleeding from the back of the mouth
These symptoms indicate it’s time for your wisdom teeth to come out. To protect the health of your mouth, you must remove the cause of your oral hygiene problems.
Many people get nervous about having the surgery, but it’s a relatively short procedure. You don’t even have to use anesthesia if that worries you. Many people use nitrous oxide, also called laughing gas, to get through the surgery.
Why Do Experts Now Say Not To Remove Your Wisdom Teeth?
Unless absolutely necessary, wisdom teeth removal doesn’t have any benefit, and the risk of complications during the surgery to remove the teeth isn’t worth it. Any sort of surgery is a serious undertaking, and it should only be done for sound dental purposes, not out of tradition or for any sort of vanity reasons.
Some of the common risks that come with wisdom teeth removal include nerve and blood vessel damage, infection, and bleeding.
What Are The Positives And Negatives Of Wisdom Tooth Removal?
|Positives of Wisdom Tooth Removal||Negatives of Wisdom Tooth Removal|
|– Prevents future cavities and gum disease|
– Alleviates pain and pressure
– Decreases gum sensitivity
– Reduces the risk of crowding
|– Surgical complication risks (e.g., infection)|
– Post-surgery discomfort
– May not be covered by insurance
– Can cause nerve and blood vessel damage during surgery
At AZ Family Dental, we can work with you to determine if wisdom teeth removal is necessary and to schedule a convenient appointment time.
Published On: September 8, 2015
Updated On: November 13, 2023