If You Don't Remove Impacted Teeth

Impacted teeth occur when a tooth does not erupt in the mouth correctly. They may not break through the gums at all, partially erupt, come through the gums at a bad angle, or in some cases, be blocked by another tooth. Impacted teeth are commonly treated by removing the tooth. The most common tooth to be impacted is the third molars or wisdom teeth. Some patients are intimidated when they discover they have impacted teeth that need to be extracted. It is critical to properly treat impacted teeth in order to prevent long-term issues.

When a tooth is removed it is considered to be a surgical procedure. Some patients are tempted to avoid treatment of impacted teeth or neglect to have the tooth removed. In some cases, an impacted wisdom tooth may not require treatment. However, it is imperative to work with a dental professional to determine the best treatment. X-rays can be used to determine the position of the wisdom teeth and identify if there is potential for them to negatively impact the adjacent teeth or cause other issues.

When impacted wisdom teeth are not removed, it can cause serious issues. The following article will highlight the potential consequences when an impacted tooth is not treated.

Overcrowding and Damage to Other Teeth

Not removing an impacted tooth can cause overcrowding issues. Over time, this can result in the teeth overlapping or shifting out of place. When the teeth become overcrowded, it has the potential to reverse orthodontic work which was previously completed. The teeth may require additional straightening. When patients have a smaller mouth, overcrowding can be especially problematic. It is common for impacted wisdom teeth to push against adjacent teeth causing damage and increasing the risk for infection.

Teeth which are impacted may not come in vertically. It is possible for the teeth to erupt horizontally or at another angle. This can cause significant damage to the other teeth and require expensive treatment in the future.

Gum Disease

Gum disease is another possible issue associated with failing to treat impacted teeth. When it is caught early, gum disease can be successfully treated. When gum disease is not detected and treated, it can cause discomfort, gum redness and swelling, or even the loss of teeth.


The wisdom teeth are located at the very back of the mouth. This makes the impacted teeth more difficult to clean. It can be easy for food and bacteria to become trapped in the impacted teeth, which can result in cavities, bad breath, and decay.


During the development of the wisdom teeth, a sac located in the jawbone can fill with fluid. Over time, this can allow for the formation of a cyst. A cyst can cause damage to the teeth, nerves, and jawbone. While it is rare, the cyst can develop into a noncancerous tumor that must be removed.

Impacted teeth must be treated in a timely manner. When they remain untreated, it can cause serious problems. It may sound overwhelming to consider having a tooth extracted, but there is a potential for serious consequences and more invasive treatment when it is ignored. Infection which develops from the bacteria can spread to other areas of the body.

If a patient suspects they have an impacted tooth, they should contact their dentist for evaluation. The dentist can help determine if the tooth needs to be extracted. Impacted teeth should be closely monitored to ensure they do not negatively impact the adjacent teeth. Impacted wisdom teeth should ideally be removed before the roots fully develop. This is typically when the patient is between their late teens and early twenties. The teeth grow from crown to the root which means removal is less invasive when a tooth is extracted prior to the roots fully forming. Extracting wisdom teeth is quite common and the procedure can be completed with minimal discomfort. The recovery time is relatively quick as well. Patients should continue good oral hygiene practices of brushing the teeth at least twice each day, daily flossing, and routine visits to the dentist.


Impacted Wisdom Tooth Removal