No one looks forward to wisdom teeth removal, but for 85% of the population, it is a necessary procedure we all must go through eventually. While waiting as long as possible to get your wisdom teeth removed may seem like a harmless plan, waiting too long can actually cause some serious problems when it comes to your oral health. Below, we outline some of the dangers of waiting too long to remove wisdom teeth so that you are able to act promptly when the time comes for wisdom teeth removal.
1. Crooked and Crowded Teeth
Your new teeth (wisdom teeth) begin to come in between the ages of 17 and 25. These are a third set of molars that are usually removed because they easily crowd the mouth. By the ages of 17 through 25, most people have already had crooked teeth corrected with braces or retainers. A third set of molars growing in can completely undermine the years – not to mention the loads of money — spent achieving straight teeth. Wisdom teeth will push other teeth around the more they grow in, therefore removing them before they crowd the other teeth is in the patient’s best aesthetic interest.
Ask your parents what you were like when you were teething as a baby. Most likely, they will tell you that you weren’t too pleasant to be around! Growing in new teeth hurts, which is why it causes babies to get so fussy during this period. The tooth has to break through the gum which is painful and irritating, and the process is the exact same whether it is a baby teething or a teenager’s wisdom teeth coming in. The earlier you get your wisdom teeth removed, the less pain you will experience in the long run.
3. Gum Damage and Inflammation
Wisdom teeth may partially come in, creating a flap of gum tissue that traps food and bacteria. This eventually leads to inflammation and infection, known as Pericoronitis. Not only is this painful, causing swelling and discharge near the site of the tooth, but it also produces a bad smell. If left untreated for too long, patients have experienced facial swelling, muscle spasms in the jaw, and swollen lymph nodes. Even after treatment by a dentist, it can come back if the wisdom tooth is not removed.
4. Jaw Damage
An impacted wisdom tooth means the tooth did not have room to grow straight, therefore it comes in cricked or sideways as it pushed through the gums. Impacted wisdom teeth should always be removed. When impacted, the sac (within the interior of the jaw) that contains the tooth may fill with fluid and produce a cyst. Cysts can cause nerve damage in the jaw and are extremely painful.
5. Sinus Issues
Many patients are surprised to learn that wisdom teeth can cause a ton of different sinus issues. From recurring sore throats to general congestion and sinus pain or pressure, these all may be triggered because of wisdom teeth coming in. This is because the teeth are so close to the sinus cavity that the sinuses become inflamed and congested, leading to several different sinus issues.
Is it Time to Get Your Wisdom Teeth Removed?
If you are experiencing any of the above symptoms, then yes, it is most likely time to get your wisdom teeth removed! Your dentist will be able to guide you on the best timing for wisdom teeth removal, which is why it is important to go in for your regular checkups.
Wisdom Teeth Removal in Pennsylvania
St.Luke’s OMS has several locations in Pennsylvania for individuals in need of wisdom teeth removal. Our oral surgeons are extremely skilled in the wisdom teeth removal process, ensuring a smooth and safe procedure. You will be in and out in no time at all and left with a beautiful smile! Make your appointment today to learn more.