Why Should Wisdom Teeth be Removed?

Why Should Wisdom Teeth be Removed?

July 1, 2024

Wisdom teeth, the third molars that often emerge in late adolescence or early adulthood, can bring complications if not managed properly. In this guide, we explore why wisdom tooth extraction is crucial for maintaining oral health and preventing potential issues down the road.


Explanation of what impaction is and how it relates to wisdom teeth:

  • Impaction takes place when the wisdom teeth fail to emerge fully or properly due to a lack of space in the jaw.
  • Wisdom teeth in Central Northwest, Houston, TX, also known as third molars, are the last set to erupt, mostly between the ages of 17 and 25.
  • Impaction can result from various factors, including genetics, insufficient jaw space, or abnormal tooth development.

Different types of impaction (mesial, distal, horizontal, vertical):

  • Mesial impaction: Wisdom tooth grows at an angle toward the front of the mouth, potentially causing crowding.
  • Distal impaction: The tooth grows at an angle toward the back of the mouth, leading to discomfort and difficulty cleaning.
  • Horizontal impaction: The tooth grows horizontally against the adjacent tooth, causing pain and pressure.
  • Vertical impaction: The tooth grows vertically but fails to erupt fully through the gum line, resulting in partial impaction.

Potential complications of impacted wisdom teeth if left untreated:

  • Pain and uneasiness: Impacted wisdom teeth can cause jaw, gums, and surrounding teeth pain.
  • Infection: Bacteria can accumulate around the impacted tooth, leading to inflammation and infection.
  • Damage to adjacent teeth: Impacted wisdom teeth may exert pressure on neighboring teeth, causing damage or misalignment.
  • Cyst formation: Impacted wisdom teeth can trigger the development of cysts or fluid-filled sacs in the jawbone.


Discussion on how wisdom teeth can cause crowding of adjacent teeth:

  • Wisdom teeth may exert pressure on the neighboring teeth as they attempt to erupt, hence leading to crowding.
  • Crowding takes place when there is a lack of space in the dental arch to fit in all the teeth properly.

Impact of crowding on dental alignment and bite:

  • Crowding can disturb the natural alignment of the teeth, leading to crookedness or misalignment.
  • Misaligned teeth can affect the bite, causing difficulty chewing or speaking.

Importance of addressing crowding early to prevent further complications:

  • Early intervention is crucial to prevent the worsening of crowding and associated dental problems.
  • Removing impacted wisdom teeth can alleviate pressure on adjacent teeth, reducing the risk of crowding and misalignment in the long term.


Explanation of how partially erupted wisdom teeth can lead to infection:

  • Partially erupted wisdom teeth create an opening in the gums, which allows bacteria to enter and cause infection.
  • Bacterial infection around the wisdom tooth can lead to inflammation, swelling, and pain.

Common symptoms of wisdom tooth infection (pain, swelling, redness):

  • Pain or discomfort in the back of the mouth or jaw.
  • Swelling and redness around the affected area.
  • Difficulty opening the mouth or swallowing.

Risks associated with untreated infections, including the spread of bacteria:

  • Untreated infections can further spread to other parts of the mouth or body, leading to more severe health complications.
  • Bacteria from the infected tooth can go into the bloodstream, potentially causing systemic infections or sepsis.

Tooth Decay and Gum Disease:

Overview of how wisdom teeth can contribute to tooth decay and gum disease:

  • Impacted or partially developed wisdom teeth can be really difficult to clean properly, thus increasing the risk of plaque buildup and tooth decay.
  • Bacteria trapped around the wisdom tooth can also lead to inflammation of the gums, known as gum disease.

Difficulty in cleaning impacted or partially erupted wisdom teeth:

  • Limited access to the wisdom tooth due to its position in the mouth can make thorough cleaning challenging.
  • Improper cleaning can result in the accumulation of plaque and bacteria, leading to decay and gum disease.

Consequences of unattended and untreated tooth decay and gum disease on oral health:

  • Tooth decay can progress to cavities, requiring fillings, root canals, or even extraction.
  • Gum disease may lead to gum recession, bone loss, and tooth loss if left untreated.

Cyst and Tumor Formation:

Explanation of how impacted wisdom teeth can lead to cysts or tumors:

  • When wisdom teeth remain impacted, a sack of fluid can form around the impacted tooth, resulting in a cyst.
  • This cyst can grow larger over time and may cause damage to the surrounding bone or teeth.
  • In a few cases, impacted wisdom teeth can also lead to the development of tumors in the jawbone.

Types of cysts and tumors associated with impacted wisdom teeth:

  • Dentigerous cyst: Shapes around the crown of an impacted tooth and is the most common type associated with impacted wisdom teeth.
  • Keratocystic odontogenic tumor (KCOT): This is a more aggressive type of cyst that can cause bone destruction and recur if not treated promptly.
  • Ameloblastoma: A benign tumor that originates from the cells responsible for tooth enamel formation and can grow to a significant size if left untreated.

Potential risks and complications of cysts and tumors if not addressed promptly:

  • Damage to adjacent teeth: Cysts and tumors associated with impacted wisdom teeth can exert pressure on neighboring teeth, causing damage or displacement.
  • Jawbone damage: Large cysts or tumors can erode the jawbone, leading to structural changes and potential fractures.
  • Risk of malignancy: While most cysts associated with impacted wisdom teeth are benign, there is a small risk of malignancy, particularly with aggressive tumors like ameloblastoma.


Wisdom tooth extraction is essential for preventing complications such as impaction, infection, and cyst formation. By resolving these issues early on, individuals can safeguard their oral health and maintain a healthy, beautiful smile for years. Don’t delay – prioritize your dental health today.

Ready to take control of your dental health?

Schedule a consultation with SND Family Dental today to discuss your wisdom teeth and find out your treatment options. Don’t wait until it’s too late – prioritize your oral health and book your appointment now with our dentist near you. Your smile will thank you!

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