What's the worse thing that can happen with keeping your wisdom teeth?
Wisdom teeth are quite different than most teeth in your mouth. Since these teeth rarely erupt into the mouth, they can lead to the formation of cysts and tumours.
These cysts and tumours are typically benign and grow very slowly without causing any pain. However, they can be quite destructive!
Most patients become aware of them either accidentally when an x-ray is taken or when they become symptomatic in later years of life as they begin to press against other teeth and vital structures like nerves and sinuses.
Removing wisdom teeth later in life and especially when they are associated with cysts or tumours is always more challenging and can be associated with potential complications such as:
- Jaw fracture
- Damage to adjacent teeth
- Sinus opening
- Temporary or permanent loss of normal sensations to your lips, teeth and tongue
The following is an x-ray of a 50 years old patient that had no idea she even had wisdom teeth. Her dentist took a panoramic x-ray and she was diagnosed with two retained wisdom teeth. The one on the right hand side has a dark cyst growing around it which has caused severe bone loss and displacement of the wisdom teeth down towards her nerve. The wisdom tooth on the left is also impacted but not causing any issues.
Before surgery: Two impacted wisdom teeth. Wisdom tooth on right side is associated with large expansile cyst that has dissolved jaw bone, displaced the wisdom tooth and pressed against the nerve. The cyst had also damaged the tooth adjacent to the wisdom tooth making it mobile.
After surgery: Wisdom tooth on the right and associated cyst have been removed. The tooth adjacent to the wisdom tooth was also removed as it had lost a lot of its supporting structure and was loose. The defect will begin to fill in with bone and an x-ray will be taken in one year to check for recurrence of cyst.
This patient had her surgery under IV sedation and she did very well with no complications. However, she did end up losing an additional tooth due to the injury sustained as a result of the cyst. This could have been completely prevented if the wisdom teeth were assessed and removed when she was a teenager.
To book a consultation and have your wisdom teeth assessed, please contact our clinic at 905-553-6725.