Wisdom teeth, also known as third molars, are the last teeth to develop in the mouth, generally between ages 17 and 25.
This fourth set of molars can cause crowding, gum damage, emergency tooth extraction with chewing or biting when they come in unerupted—meaning that they are still below the gum line—or in some cases, even when they come in properly positioned in the mouth.
The most common issues related to wisdom teeth are periodontal disease and tooth decay caused by improper brushing or flossing around the wisdom teeth.
What Happens If I Don’t Get My Wisdom Teeth Removed
If your wisdom teeth are causing you pain, or if they’re not fully erupted into your mouth, it may be time to see a dentist. The longer you wait, and depending on how crowded or infected your mouth is, complications can arise.
That’s why it’s important to take action before you get in over your head—which could lead to more serious issues like an infection or needing an emergency tooth extraction
.If you have any concerns about wisdom teeth, call Dr. Parry today for a consultation at.
Together we can talk about whether surgical removal is right for you. In many cases, oral surgery is a very safe procedure with minimal risk of complications.
It all depends on what stage of development your wisdom teeth are in, as well as how healthy your gums and other surrounding tissues are. Here’s what you need to know.
What Are Wisdom Teeth?
Although often thought of as just another set of molars, wisdom teeth (also called third molars) serve no real purpose in our mouths beyond helping us chew tougher foods such as nuts and hard cheeses.
They usually appear between ages 17 and 25, but some people don’t develop them until their late 20s or even early 30s! Their emergence can cause crowding if there isn’t enough room in your jaw to accommodate them properly.
The Impact Of Not Removing Entire Mouthfuls Of Unused, Mature Adult Teeth
Not removing wisdom teeth can lead to problems, including crowding of your other teeth and gum disease. The reason is that many adults have so much tooth structure in their mouth—24 teeth for most people—that there isn’t enough room for all of them to fit comfortably.
This problem is exacerbated by gum disease, which commonly develops when dental plaque builds up between your teeth and gums, leading to painful swelling.
When you remove a whole mouthful of wisdom teeth early, you give yourself more room for your other adult teeth and less opportunity for infection from developing. It’s also important to note that not removing wisdom teeth can cause serious infections or complications if they become impacted (stuck) beneath another tooth or below your gum line.
These complications are rare but very serious and often require hospitalization. While it may seem like an emergency procedure, emergency tooth extraction has its benefits as well: it’s done quickly and with minimal pain medication on-site.
Most patients say they feel back to normal within 24 hours after undergoing an emergency extraction procedure.
It’s also important to understand how long it takes for an impacted wisdom tooth to become problematic: usually, about 10 years after its emergence into your mouth, although some cases are known to take longer than 20 years!
How To Tell If You Need To Have Your Third Molars Removed (And When They Can Be Left In Your Mouth)
Your dentist will conduct a physical exam of your mouth, asking you to stick out your tongue and close your lips.
He or she will pay attention to how much room there is between your last tooth (your wisdom tooth) and the gum line. The amount of space between tooth and gum is referred to as permitted clearance.
When permitted clearance is limited, your third molars may need to be removed. If it’s left in place, it can cause crowding or impact neighboring teeth. In addition, if you’re still growing, then leaving wisdom teeth in place can lead to further complications as they continue to grow.
They can also become impacted by other teeth that are already in place. Impacted wisdom teeth are at risk for infections, cysts, and tumors. This condition is called pericoronitis which causes pain, swelling, and tenderness around your third molars.
Left untreated, pericoronitis can spread infection throughout your jawbone and surrounding tissue causing more serious problems such as osteomyelitis.
It’s best to get any impacted wisdom teeth removed before symptoms occur so that you don’t have to deal with these issues later on down the road.
What Are The Possible Risks Associated With Not Removing The Third Molar During An Emergency Tooth Extraction
When a patient comes into my office with severe pain that doesn’t abate after taking over-the-counter pain medications for 72 hours, I have to advise them about possible complications that can result if we don’t remove their tooth.
The most dangerous scenario is when there is an infection in or around a wisdom tooth.
Because of its location near nerves and soft tissue, any infection can quickly spread to other parts of your body. This means you need to act fast—and removal will be much easier if you get rid of it before any bacteria have time to form and release toxins inside your mouth.
Bacteria thrive in moist environments, so when you have more than one tooth impacted in your jaw bone, there are more surface areas for them to cling onto.
How To Prepare For A Successful Emergency Tooth Extraction
As soon as you arrive at our dental office, our staff will be happy to provide you with a warm beverage and answer any questions you may have. If pain medicine has been prescribed, they’ll administer it and make sure that you’re comfortable.
Once your wisdom teeth have been removed, we’ll apply an ice pack to soothe inflammation or swelling.
We’ll also teach you how to care for your mouth in order to avoid unnecessary complications such as infection. Finally, they’ll help create a treatment plan that allows us to meet your needs long-term and treat any discomfort effectively.
Rest assured knowing that regardless of what procedure is required, we have you covered!
What Should I Expect After An Emergency Tooth Extraction Procedure?
While you’re still numbed, your dentist or oral surgeon will likely apply an antibiotic ointment to help prevent infection. You’ll also be given a pair of bite guards and you should use them as directed.
Your gums might be a little sore for a few days but your pain is likely to decrease with each passing day. If, however, your discomfort persists beyond seven days, contact your dentist right away so they can make sure everything is healing properly and there are no issues that need further treatment.
Healing time can vary from patient to patient—the American Dental Association notes that it usually takes around two weeks to see all of your teeth once again.
As always, check with your dentist if you have any questions about what to expect after having an emergency tooth extraction procedure.