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What happens if you never get your wisdom teeth pulled out?

I am a 32 year old male. I want to know what happens if you never get your wisdom teeth pulled out?

8 Answers

Wisdom teeth do not have to be extracted. If they are not presenting any difficulty to you and/or your dentist does not find a reason to remove, then it is perfectly normal to keep them.
Pulling wisdom teeth is NOT always recommended to everyone. Some people may leave their wisdom teeth if it doesn't bother the tooth next to it if it doesn't create any complication on the surrounding tissues. Check with your doctor to make it it doesn't interfere with the rest.
Not always necessary. More places to trap food, but it's okay if you have room.
Every case is different and has to be evaluated. Many people have their wisdom teeth their entire life with no problems.

The consequences of not having your wisdom teeth removed remain the same for everyone; however, the risk of the consequences is what changes. The consequences include future cavities in your wisdom teeth, future cavities in your teeth in front of your wisdom teeth, gum recession and bone loss around your wisdom teeth and the teeth in front of your wisdom teeth, as well as a condition known as pericoronitis. If your wisdom teeth erupt into your mouth they can be at various angles and various heights. It is the angles and heights that change the risk of the issues mentioned above. Keep in mind that the risk can also be elevated by your ability to keep that area of your mouth clean (as well as your dentist). Finally, it is best to consider your age. Bones get more brittle as we get older (hence why hips break more often in older people). This makes removing teeth more difficult, which will make the recovery more difficult. 28 years old is a general age that is where it starts getting more difficult to take out wisdom teeth.
Best of luck to you!

William F. Scott IV, DMD
This is a common question and concern of many patients. First, not everyone needs to have their wisdom teeth extracted. Your dentist should be able to tell you if the length of your jaw (maxilla and mandible) are long enough for the teeth to fully erupt. If your jaw has room for the wisdom teeth to fully erupt, you most likely will not need to have them removed. Unfortunately, this is not the case for most people. If your wisdom teeth (3rd molars) are impacted against the tooth in front of them, the wisdom teeth can damage the neighboring tooth by causing bone resorption around the tooth and eventually causing a hole in the root or crown of the tooth it is impacted against. It is important to understand all teeth have a naturally occurring cyst that helps them move through the bone. Teeth that are impacted and unable to erupt into the mouth pose a risk of the eruption cyst growing and eventually causing resorption of the jaw bone that could lead to a jaw fracture. Wisdom teeth that are able to partially erupt but do not have the jaw length for full eruption could develop cavities under the covered portion of the tooth. In cases of partially erupted third molars, it is not always possible to diagnose caries (cavities) due to the location of caries in relation to the gum tissue over the tooth. Undetected caries (cavities) could eventually lead to an infection at which point you would need to have the tooth removed. In most cases, it is best to remove the teeth at a young age to prevent future damage to the adjacent teeth and bone. Keep in mind, not all patients develop problems from impacted wisdom teeth. I always recommend having a discussion with your dentist to determine what your specific risks are and make the decision that is in your best interest.
As usual, the answer is that depends! On what, well a lot of things. Are the wisdom teeth impacted, i.e., blocked somehow from getting fully into the mouth and being functional? If they are impacted, have they broken through the gum and are partially exposed in the mouth. If so, then food, debris and bacteria can get packed in around them and become infected (pericoronitis). These infections can often be treated with antiseptic rinses (Chlorhexidine or hydrogen peroxide) or even antibiotics, but like a splinter in your finger, the problem never truly goes away until the splinter removed. Other factors can also be involved such as your general health. These problems can be worse in the elderly. Have your dentist help you make the decision, evaluating your particular situation.

Ronald L. Rhea, DDS
There are cases where wisdom teeth extraction is not necessary. Consult a dentist to see if you are a candidate for wisdom teeth extraction. It's different for each patient.