Wisdom teeth generally emerge in adults between the ages of 18-25, and are often considered as extra, “non-essential” teeth. They are the last adult teeth to break through, and should be looked at by a qualified dentist or oral surgeon to ensure they are not impacting the second molars that lie adjacent to the wisdom teeth. If an impaction is occurring, wisdom teeth should generally be removed. Your oral surgeon will be able to provide knowledgeable counsel on how to proceed. But what if you decide not to address your impacted wisdom teeth? Is this something you can just live with, or should you elect oral surgery to remove these crowding teeth?

Delaying necessary oral surgery to remove impacted wisdom teeth can cause serious oral issues. The following are some of the dangers of neglecting this important procedure:

Impacted Wisdom Teeth are Susceptible to Tooth Decay

Wisdom teeth are really far back in the mouth. While wisdom teeth are generally reachable by a standard toothbrush, it is nearly impossible to floss wisdom teeth – leading to the potential for tooth decay. Long term decay can cause cavities and infections, which may eventually lead to the forced removal of the wisdom teeth for the sake of the patient’s health and comfort.

Infection of the Tooth Socket

Wisdom teeth are often partially obscured by a section of gums, leading to the potential for infectious buildup. This can cause serious pain and foul-smelling breath – both obvious indicators of wisdom teeth that need to be removed.

Damage to Neighboring Teeth and Jaw

Impacted wisdom teeth are characterized by their position in the mouth – pushing up to the second molars and potentially causing damage to these adjacent teeth. Removing these impacted teeth will essentially halt any further damage, but waiting too long can cause serious, long-term damage to other teeth.

Those who face physical dangers at work – police officers, firefighters, cargo handlers, and others, may find that their impacted wisdom teeth puts them at a greater risk of jaw fractures. This can be incredibly painful and is often accompanied by prolonged recovery times. Removal of impacted wisdom teeth will help minimize this risk.

Once wisdom teeth become impacted it is vital to seek the advice of a qualified dentist or oral surgeon. Impacted wisdom teeth are more than just uncomfortable and painful, they can be hazardous to your health and may end up causing more health issues and out of pocket expenses than would be incurred if you dealt with them immediately. So be wise,  make an appointment to get those wisdom teeth checked out today!