Wisdom teeth removal is so common nowadays that it’s often seen as a rite of passage for young adults. The pain, the days off from school, the hilarious post-anesthesia interactions: it’s all part of the package!
But what happens if you never get your wisdom teeth pulled out? Do wisdom teeth have to be removed, or is there a way to avoid the whole fiasco? Read on to find out!
Why Are Wisdom Teeth Removed in the First Place?
There are several reasons why someone might get their wisdom teeth removed. A dentist may recommend getting your wisdom teeth out if they are unhealthy, not fully erupted (meaning they’re trapped under the gums), not properly aligned with your other teeth, or aren’t easily cleanable by your toothbrush.
Even if your wisdom teeth are healthy, a dentist may recommend they be removed anyways to avoid future problems from occurring (such as cysts or tumors.) Plus, it’s usually easier to remove wisdom teeth at younger ages, before roots and bones in the mouth are fully grown.
Wisdom teeth are generally considered vestigial, so if they pose any health risk at all, most people choose to get them removed.
While some people worry about the expenses that wisdom teeth surgery can pose, there are plenty of ways to find a reasonable wisdom teeth extraction cost.
What Happens if You Never Get Your Wisdom Teeth Pulled Out?
Answering this question is easier said than done! The truth is that the answer is different for every patient, but there are a few circumstances that are a bit more common than others.
Option 1: They Become Impacted
Many peoples’ wisdom teeth (including my own) become impacted, meaning that they become stuck beneath your gums. When your wisdom teeth don’t surface properly, they often grow in sideways or crooked.
This can start pushing your other teeth around or cause overcrowding in your mouth. (And, if you’ve had braces, they can ruin thousands of dollars of orthodontic treatment!)
Option 2: They Can Become Infected
Another risk you take with wisdom teeth is that they can easily become infected. When they crowd out your existing teeth, bacteria can start to grow between teeth that are too tightly packed. This increases your risk of infection significantly.
Infection is always a risk, but that’s especially true when you’re dealing with impacted wisdom teeth. Food can become stuck underneath the gum that covers the teeth, which of course leads to infection too.
If your gums become red, painful, or swollen, you may have an infection, in which case you should speak to your doctor about antibiotics (and potentially removal surgery.)
Option 3: Nothing!
It’s true: some people never get their wisdom teeth out and end up totally fine. Sometimes it’s due to wisdom teeth extraction cost. Other times, they simply don’t need their wisdom teeth removed.
How Do I Know If I Should Get My Wisdom Teeth Out?
So, what happens if you never get your wisdom teeth pulled out? The short answer is that it varies from person to person. The only way to really know whether or not you need to get your wisdom teeth pulled out is to speak to your dentist.
Dentists are trained extensively and literally look at mouths for a living. They are by far the most qualified people to recommend wisdom teeth removal.
So the next time you experience tender gums near the back of your molars, consider speaking to a professional about getting your wisdom teeth out. (At the very least, you’ll come out of it with some hilarious videos of yourself post-surgery!)