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Why You Shouldn't Just Let Your Wisdom Teeth Grow In

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Wisdom teeth are something that, once upon a time, most people would allow to grow into their mouths. However, over time, the shape of most people's jaws has changed to the extent that there often isn't enough space for wisdom teeth to move in. If you were planning on skipping wisdom tooth removal surgery and just giving them a chance to grow in, you might want to rethink that idea. Here's why it's dangerous for you to give your wisdom teeth a chance.

There Might Not Be Enough Space

When wisdom teeth don't have enough space to move in, it's called a tooth impaction. This can have negative effects depending upon where the wisdom tooth impacts its neighbor. If the wisdom tooth runs into the neighboring molar above the surface of the gums, it can start to push that tooth out of the way and eventually could crowd multiple teeth.

If it hits the tooth underneath the gum, it's even worse. The root of the tooth is not intended to ever be exposed to pressure or force like that, and it's not protected with tooth enamel the way that the rest of the tooth is. As a result, this type of impaction is extremely painful and can cause the death of the neighboring tooth if the wisdom tooth is allowed to keep pushing into it. When this happens, surgery will be necessary to remove the wisdom tooth and the damaged tooth.

They Could Come in Wrong

Wisdom teeth don't always act according to plan. For whatever reason, it's possible for wisdom teeth to grow in sideways, or even upside down. The problem with this is two-fold. If a tooth is coming in sideways, it's almost guaranteed to impact the tooth next to it and cause a tooth impaction.

However, when it comes to a tooth coming in upside down, this is even more dangerous. The tooth will move in whatever direction it's pointing in, meaning that a wisdom tooth can penetrate through the jaw bone (if it's the lower jaw) or start to grow up into the nasal cavity if it's in the upper jaw. Either case will be extremely painful, will require surgery to remove the tooth and to repair the damage done, and it may leave you with lasting damage if it penetrates the nasal cavity.

Wisdom teeth are removed for a reason. Unfortunately, it's not practical to let them grow in on their own. But that doesn't mean that you can't necessarily still let them come in. Visit a dentist to get your teeth x-rayed. If your dentist confirms that your wisdom teeth are pointed in the right direction and that there's room to let them move in, then you're free to keep them. But if it turns out that they're destined for trouble, then it's time to make the choice to have them removed to save you from these problems.