Is it Wise to Remove Wisdom Teeth?

Medically reviewed by Dr Gloria Kong

Is it wise to remove wisdom teeth?


In a 2018 article posted by SingHealth, a lady Madam Tan made an appointment with a dentist for severe toothache. It was found that she had three infected and impacted wisdom teeth. She had put off her dental visit for some time. 

Because of her fear of pain, she requested for the wisdom teeth to be removed with the help of sedation. Were it not for her first-trimester pregnancy, general anaesthesia would have been administered to her for her wisdom teeth removal procedure. However, this was not possible or safe for her and her unborn child. 

I reiterate this story from the article as I see many patients I see in similar plight. Instead of visiting a dentist for treatment as soon as possible, many put treatment off until it becomes too late. Madam Tan could have avoided many of these complications by removing her wisdom teeth when first detected by her dentist. 

So when is it wise to remove wisdom teeth and are there really good reasons to remove them besides the possibility of wisdom teeth getting infected? This article has been written to help you understand why it is probably a good idea to remove your wisdom teeth earlier rather than later. 

Remove your wisdom teeth now.


What are wisdom teeth and why should I bother removing them? 

Wisdom teeth, otherwise known as third molars, usually emerge during the ages 17 and 25. These teeth are often not needed. 

Should your wisdom teeth erupt normally and be correctly positioned, the risk of getting infection is low. This means that you might not need to remove them at all. Should that be you, you are one of the lucky ones! 

However, for most patients, this is not the case. It is common for wisdom teeth to erupt partially, grow out sideways or in the wrong direction. Most wisdom teeth grow in a way that prevents proper cleaning. 

When your teeth are not cleaned properly, it leads to bacteria build-up. This exposes you to the risk of dental caries, gum disease and even infection which warrants an emergency visit to the dentist. 

In some cases, not removing your wisdom teeth can cause serious complications such as dental cysts and tumours. These growths can cause damage to your jawbone. 


Is it risky to remove your wisdom teeth?

There is always a certain risk to every dental procedure. 1 out of 100 patients may suffer from permanent problems because of an incorrectly done wisdom teeth procedure. 

You will be glad to know that with wisdom tooth removal procedures, if done under sterile conditions and an experienced dentist, it is a safe and relatively simple procedure

An erupted wisdom tooth can be easily removed with a simple tooth extraction. Your dentist will use local anaesthesia to numb the area before removing your wisdom tooth.  

If your wisdom tooth is impacted or lying in a difficult to access position, you might require wisdom tooth surgery instead of a simple extraction. During the procedure, the overlying gums will be lifted and surrounding bone exposed to remove the tooth. The procedure is typically done by sectioning the tooth and removing it in pieces. The process might also require general anaesthesia. 

Healing is usually faster for younger patients with less risks and complications. This is why it is generally advisable for wisdom teeth to be removed earlier rather than at a later age. 

Remove your wisdom teeth safely with Kong Dental Surgery.


What are the side effects of removing your wisdom teeth? 

The side effects of removing your wisdom teeth include: 

  • Bleeding 
  • Dry socket 
  • Swelling of your gums
  • Bruising
  • Pain around the site of removal
  • Mouth ulcers 
  • Infection 
  • Nerve damage 
  • Jaw stiffness

Studies have also shown that patients who remove their wisdom tooth after the age of 25 experience more complications post-wisdom tooth extraction. This can be a result of many reasons: 

  • Denser bone under gums which makes excision more difficult.
  • Inability to form blood clots adequately or dislodging before wound healing.
  • Chronic diseases that affect healing and recovery.

Read: The Surprising Connections Between Oral Health and Well-Being


Should I remove my wisdom teeth if I have diabetes?

If you are a diabetic patient, recovery from surgical procedures like wisdom tooth surgery may take longer. Your wound might also be more prone to infection. 

Saying that, you can remove your wisdom teeth if you have diabetes. However, the procedure is best done under a dentist that has experience working with patients with similar conditions. 

Work with experienced dentists to remove your wisdom teeth.


Do wisdom teeth rot if they do not get removed?

Your wisdom teeth do not rot just because they do not get removed. The wisdom tooth begins rotting when it is impacted and trapped underneath the gums. 

When this happens, it leaves the tooth vulnerable to infection and decay or rot, which can cause toothaches. In certain cases, the impacted tooth can lead to resorption or cause healthy teeth around it to deteriorate. 


Are there any benefits to keeping my wisdom teeth? 

There are definitely some benefits to keeping your wisdom teeth if your wisdom teeth are not at risk of erupting abnormally or being incorrectly positioned. 

In such circumstances where risk of inflammation and infection is low, keeping your wisdom teeth might help with the following: 

  • Improve chewing 
  • Help with digestion and breakdown of food particles
  • Support neighbouring teeth 
  • Prevent overcrowding and shifting of teeth.

Book an appointment with Kong Dental Surgery for wisdom teeth removal.

What do experts say about removing wisdom teeth? 

There are differing viewpoints on whether wisdom teeth should be removed entirely or left alone. However, the general consensus is that if your wisdom teeth are at risk of causing potential dental problems to you down the road, you should consider removing your wisdom teeth. 


Is 40 too old to get my wisdom teeth removed?

You are never too old to get your wisdom teeth removed. In fact, wisdom teeth do not usually cause problems until much later. The sooner you visit a dentist to remove it, the better and less risk of complications you will have. 

If you are worried that you are too old to seek for a wisdom teeth removal procedure, there is no need to be! 


Why are dentists so eager to remove wisdom teeth? 

Most dentists are eager to remove wisdom teeth because of the potential problems that wisdom teeth can cause later on in life. 

Removal of wisdom teeth at a later age can also lead to higher risk of complications because of slower recovery and healing. 


What happens if I refuse to remove my wisdom teeth? 

If you refuse to remove your wisdom teeth, one of the following can happen: 

  • Extensive tooth decay
  • Pain 
  • Soft tissue infection 
  • Dental cysts 
  • Dental tumours 
  • Damage to teeth nearby your wisdom teeth 
  • Gum disease.

Read: 5 Ways How Gum Disease Affects Your Health


Is it bad to wait till it hurts to get my wisdom teeth removed?

Just as it is not a good idea to wait till your tires have worn out before changing them, it is probably also not a good idea to wait till it hurts to get your wisdom teeth removed. 

Wisdom teeth are ticking time bombs when they remain in your teeth. The longer wisdom teeth are in your mouth, the longer the roots develop. This makes it more difficult and complicated for the dentist to extract your wisdom teeth in the future.

Read: Top 5 Reasons To Visit a Dentist

The earlier you extract your wisdom teeth, the less dental problems you face. 

Wisdom teeth removal procedures are rather straightforward and safe dental procedures that can save you from further dental complications in the long run. It is generally wiser to remove your wisdom teeth as soon as possible to reduce risks of dental decay and infection. 

Book an appointment for wisdom tooth removal at Kong Dental Surgery.

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