Wisdom Teeth

Dentists far and wide agree time is of the essence when it comes to wisdom teeth. If your dentist, orthodontist, or oral surgeon indicates you likely need your wisdom teeth removed, do not file it away in the back of your mind for future reference. A number of problems can arise if your wisdom teeth are left in place too long. Though the removal of wisdom teeth will be a bit uncomfortable, failing to remove these teeth will cause even worse pain and problems in due time.

Make way for the Emerging Teeth

If your jaw and mouth are not large enough to accommodate another set of molars, it will be necessary to remove the wisdom teeth. If the wisdom teeth erupt, they will create room by pushing other teeth right on out of their way. Such a condition, referred to as overcrowding, leads to crooked teeth that overlap. If you wait too long and the teeth have shifted, it is too late.

Inaction Can Lead to an Abscess or Infection

Wisdom teeth that are impacted are vulnerable to infection or the formation of an abscess/cyst. If the infection is not identified, it is possible for an even worse outcome in which perfectly healthy teeth end up with significant and irreversible decay. If the wisdom tooth merely partially erupts, it will prove highly vulnerable to the oral bacterial infection referred to as pericoronitis. This infection is quite uncomfortable and has the potential to threaten your health as a whole.

Prevent Sideways Eruptions

In some cases, wisdom teeth are positioned in a manner that causes them to emerge crooked. In certain cases, the wisdom teeth are parallel to the jawbone, indicating they have the potential to erupt completely sideways through the gums. Crooked wisdom teeth are a major problem as they have the potential to permanently damage neighboring teeth and even result in a misaligned bite.


Wisdom teeth that erupt following the completion of orthodontic care have the potential to lead to shifting teeth that defeat the purpose of performing the work in the first place. Plenty of patients have comparably small mouths and/or jaws that do not have sufficient space for third molars to emerge in the proper manner. If such teeth erupt, it is possible for overcrowding to occur. The teeth will begin to move or possibly even overlap one another.

Even More Risk for Decay

Even if wisdom teeth grow in as desired, patients should still be mindful of their back molars. Wisdom teeth can prove challenging to care for as they are difficult to reach. Some patients find it difficult to properly floss and brush the molars. If these teeth are not cleaned and removed at the proper time, they will serve as hosts for bacteria and lead to extensive tooth decay.

Impacted Teeth

When wisdom teeth are impacted, they are stuck beneath the gum line. Such trapped teeth are uncomfortable and susceptible to abscesses along with infection. Impaction has the potential to cause decay as well as the resorption of perfectly fine teeth. If wisdom teeth are not properly monitored, their growth will lead to sideways emergence or even cause the teeth to shift back and interfere with the jaw's movement.

Unaddressed Wisdom Teeth Heighten the Risk for Gum Disease

Keeping the wisdom teeth in the mouth has the potential to bump up the chances of gum disease. A study involving 250 young adults who elected to keep their wisdom teeth determined gum disease worsened as time progressed with the wisdom teeth in place. About 60 percent of the study's participants displayed the signs of gum disease around the teeth in the back of the mouth at the beginning of the experiment. As the study progressed, about one-quarter of participants' gum disease significantly worsened in the subsequent two years.

Even if wisdom teeth are not fully impacted, the mere fact that they are positioned toward the back of the mouth makes it challenging to clean them. The difficulty in cleaning increases the bacteria buildup, heightening the odds of gum disease as well as decay. This is precisely why you should take your dentist's word for the condition of your wisdom teeth and proceed according to this professional's advice.

Damage to Adjacent Teeth

It makes sense to remove the wisdom teeth if there is insufficient room for these emerging teeth. Dentists hate to see emerging teeth pushing current ones out of place following the use of braces and retainers for upwards of two or three years. In some cases, the third molars will even cause physical damage to other teeth in the mouth. Additional pressure on the molars has the potential to wear the enamel and so on.

Consider the Potential for Bone Damage

Wisdom teeth that do not erupt at all have the potential to cause significant oral problems. The development of cysts by a recalcitrant tooth will prove frustrating and painful. Cysts are typically small yet they have the potential to damage the jawbone. Cysts weaken the jawbone with the formation of hollow spaces. Cysts can also compromise the integrity of the gums to boot. Oral surgery to remove the wisdom teeth and cysts will be necessary to return your mouth to normal.

Jaw Damage

A neglected wisdom tooth will cause significant damage to the jaw. The tooth is within a sac as it forms and grows in the jawbone. If there is impaction, this sac will fill with fluid and become a cyst. An unaddressed cyst has the potential to enlarge to the point that it damages adjacent teeth, weakens the jaw, or becomes infected. It is also possible for a cyst to become a non-cancerous tumor. In some cases, especially bad cysts necessitate the removal of a portion of the jaw.

Times Square Dental

If the dentist says you need to have your wisdom teeth removed, do not delay the procedure. Our dental team goes to great lengths to keep patients as comfortable as possible during potentially uncomfortable procedures and treatments. If you live in or around the Boise, Idaho area, call Dr. Jon Hastings at Times Square Dental at (208) 314-1901 to schedule an appointment.