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What are the consequences if I don't extract an impacted wisdom tooth? (photo)

Dental Wisdom Teeth

I’m a 21 year old female. My wisdom tooth has been impacted for 2 years. There has been constant swelling over the last few months and antibiotics don't work. This situation has made me quite uncomfortable.

Impacted wisdom tooth with inflammation
DOCTOR’S ANSWER (2)

Thank you for your question! And im sorry to hear that you are in discomfort and that you have been having an impacted wisdom tooth for 2 years.

The picture shows that the tooth is partially erupted from the gum and is still hidden under the gum flap.

When wisdom teeth begin to erupt out of gum as it is now in your case, it's not unusual for infections to set in.

This is because food particles can get trapped underneath the gum flap, and if it is left uncleaned, the gum overlying the wisdom tooth can get infected.

This condition is called pericoronitis.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pericoronitis

If the pericoronitis infection spreads and gets worse, you may experience other symptoms such as a fever, a bad sore throat or even swollen lymph nodes and general malaise.

I would strongly encourage you to see your trusted dentist as soon as you can, for treatment, and to discuss the pros and cons and risks of having your wisdom tooth removed, to potentially prevent future bouts of pericoronitis.

If you do not extract your wisdom tooth, you may have repeated bouts of pericoronitis which maybe very uncomfortable and annoying.

I hope this answer helps you and I wish you a speedy recovery.

Kind Regards,

Dr. Gerald Tan

0 191 views 12 Feb 2019

I am glad you have asked this question as it sounds like you are probably on the verge of choosing a dentist to help with this long standing problem of chronic wisdom tooth infection.

Having that bit of flesh over the back of the wisdom tooth typically allows food to get stuck underneath. This leads to inflammation and frequently infection. Whilst antibiotics are a great way to 'buy time', I would advise thinking of a more permanent solution ie: removal of the wisdom tooth.

Should you choose to leave this impacted wisdom tooth much longer, it can cause a few other issues including decay of the tooth in front of it. In my experience the worst sort of sequel to this constant swelling is facial swelling and a progressive difficulty in opening the mouth. Some patients get dehydrated too and they present with very dry flaky lips. 

If you are particularly nervous about the process of removal, perhaps you should consider helpful adjuncts including IV sedation and General Anaesthesia as they truly make the journey far much more bearable.

Do remember that repeated use of antibiotics can cause the bacteria in your mouth and body to develop antibiotic resistance. Hence it is wiser to find a solution sooner than later.

Hope this helps,

Dr Samintharaj Kumar

0 165 views 12 Feb 2019
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