According to the National Library of Medicine, over five million people have their wisdom teeth removed every year. These third molars usually make themselves known between the ages of 17-25. Removal is often necessary to prevent pain, tumors, cysts, infection, and damage to surrounding teeth. If these teeth are not dealt with in time, they can cause all sorts of trouble down the road.
Is the Procedure Painful?
Even if you have heard from a family member or friend that removal can be painful, it’s important to know this is not the case. With new techniques and advanced technology, you shouldn’t feel any pain or discomfort during the procedure. Since dentists can evaluate the progression of molars and spot problems well in advance, the surgery is straightforward.
However, delaying the removal of your wisdom teeth can lead to serious complications with your dental health. Pain, soreness, and pressure in the area are some of the first signs you have a problem. Here are some possibilities that can occur if you delay wisdom teeth removal.
Wisdom Tooth Impaction
Impaction occurs when there isn’t enough space in the jawbone for the molar to erupt properly. It is the number one reason for most wisdom teeth removals. This limited space can lead to a tooth that is either partially erupted or completely concealed under the gum line. This can cause dental complications, such as cavities, tooth decay, and infections. Therefore, a dentist may recommend wisdom teeth removal to eliminate any problems caused by impaction.
When wisdom teeth are growing in, there is a sac that surrounds the molar inside the jawbone. If the tooth is not removed in time, this sac can become filled with fluid and form a cyst. These jaw cysts can be very painful and cause damage to the jawbone, nerves, and surrounding teeth. Eventually, this complication can destroy the bone around the cyst, and an oral surgeon may need to remove some tissue and bone to treat it.
Damage to Adjacent Teeth
Even if a wisdom tooth erupts fully, it can affect the adjacent teeth. With limited space in the jawbone, wisdom teeth can push adjacent teeth out of their normal position when trying to squeeze in. If they erupt abnormally and cause misalignment, also known as malocclusion, it can affect one’s bite pattern drastically, requiring orthodontic treatment to correct.
When a wisdom tooth partially erupts, it can cause swelling and infection of the gum tissue surrounding it. This complication is known as pericoronitis, and it can cause severe pain in the jaw if it is left untreated. With this condition, it is common to experience difficulty opening the mouth and swollen lymph nodes in the neck. Therefore, it is essential to have your wisdom teeth removed when recommended by a doctor to avoid this from happening.
When you delay wisdom teeth extraction, you risk causing damage to the mandibular nerve. Not only is nerve damage known to cause a loss of sensation in some patients, but it also makes the removal process more complicated. Listen to your dentist and their recommendations to avoid putting your dental health at risk of other complications.
Wisdom Tooth Extraction in Shreveport, LA
Wisdom tooth extraction may be necessary if your molar begins to impact surrounding teeth, resulting in root fractures, breaks, and overcrowding. The most common signs you need removal include persistent pain, crooked teeth, and sensitive gums.
If you think you need a wisdom tooth extraction or have any questions regarding the removal process, Sterling Dental Center is here to help you. By walking you through the diagnosis and all possible treatment options, you’ll know exactly what to expect. Schedule an appointment with us today at (318) 374-1411!