A general dentist can provide services ranging from routine cleanings and exams to the detection and diagnosis of periodontal disease. When patients have an oral health condition that requires surgery, the dentist may refer the patient to an oral and maxillofacial surgeon for treatment. There are several reasons why it may be necessary to obtain…
What Happens if I Wait on a Wisdom Tooth Extraction?
A dentist may recommend wisdom tooth extraction for different reasons, including infection, pain or growth issues. During a routine dental checkup, the dentist will observe the growth of a patient's wisdom teeth. While not everyone needs their wisdom teeth extracted, it can quickly turn into a problem if the teeth are not taken out in time.
The need for wisdom tooth extraction
Wisdom teeth, also known as the third molars, usually start to emerge between ages 17 and 25, although not everyone will get them. If the dentist has recommended a patient for extraction, the procedure should be performed promptly. The following issues may occur if a patient delays the procedure:
People who have smaller mouths may not have enough space on their jaw to accommodate the proper growth of the third molars. If these teeth emerge, they may cause overcrowding, causing existing teeth to shift or overlap. Wisdom teeth that appear after orthodontic treatment can cause the teeth to shift and ruin the alignment.
When wisdom teeth are impacted, they are trapped under the gum line and unable to emerge. Impacted wisdom teeth can cause severe pain and may be the risk for abscesses and infection. The issue could also cause decay or resorption of healthy teeth. In rare cases, if the wisdom teeth are not extracted in time, they may grow parallel to the jawline. They may also move backward and ultimately inhibit the opening and closing of the jaw. An X-ray of the teeth can help to tell the extent and direction of teeth growth.
Risk of tooth decay
Even when wisdom teeth form correctly, their position can make effective cleaning difficult, and they are just as vulnerable to tooth decay as other teeth. With time, they may start to harbor bacteria and cause dental issues. Pain around the back of the jaw and swelling may mean that a wisdom tooth has suffered decay or infection. If patients do not undergo a wisdom tooth extraction, they must continue to monitor the teeth.
Cysts and tumors
Every tooth forms in a sack located inside the jaw. After the tooth emerges through the gum, the fluid-filled sack dissolves. However, an impacted wisdom tooth sac continues to develop and may lead to damage to the bone or jaw. Also, tumors and certain cancer types can develop around an impacted tooth. Therefore, it is crucial to detect and remove impacted wisdom teeth promptly.
Wisdom tooth extraction typically takes only one dental appointment and followup, with recovery lasting only a few days. The dentist will take precautions to keep you comfortable and make healing easy, so there is nothing to fear about the procedure. Although tooth extraction is not an exciting idea, waiting on the procedure will only prolong the pain and endanger your oral and overall health. To learn more about the procedure, and why it is necessary and discuss any concerns, book a dentist appointment for a consultation.
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