What Happens if I Don’t Remove an Impacted Tooth?

What Happens if I Don’t Remove an Impacted Tooth?

Imagine your dentist has just told you that your wisdom teeth are impacted and need to be removed. (“Impacted” means the tooth hasn’t come in — or erupted — as expected, is coming in at the wrong angle, or is even blocked from coming in.)

You don’t want to have the surgery, so you keep putting it off. You’ve made it this far, you think, and some people never have their wisdom teeth removed. So, how bad can it really be if you don’t have your impacted teeth removed? 

The answer, it turns out, is pretty bad. Here at Airport Dental Care in Austin, Texas, we see impacted teeth frequently and know the damage they can cause if left alone. Here’s what happens if you don’t remove an impacted tooth.

Overcrowding and damage to other teeth

An impacted tooth that isn’t taken out can crowd your other teeth, causing them to shift and overlap. This crowding can undo any orthodontic work already completed and necessitate additional straightening. This is particularly a problem if your mouth is on the small side.

Impacted teeth can also come in at various angles (sometimes even horizontally), causing additional damage and requiring more repair as well.


Impacted teeth are harder to clean than normal teeth because they’re so far back in your mouth. This problem allows food and bacteria to become trapped in the impacted teeth, which can lead to chronic bad breath, decay, and cavities.

Gum disease

The difficulty of cleaning impacted teeth also can lead to gum disease, which can cause pain and swelling around the tooth and in your jaw and cheeks.


Wisdom teeth develop within a sac in your jawbone that can fill with fluid and form a cyst. This cyst can then cause damage to your nerves, teeth, and jawbone. In rare cases, it can develop into a noncancerous tumor that has to be removed.

In short, impacted teeth left alone can cause complications harder to address than simply having the affected tooth or teeth removed. If you develop an infection due to accumulated bacteria, for example, it can spread into the rest of your body.

Your best move is to have impacted teeth removed as soon as your dentist recommends the procedure. If you need advice or help on this issue, Dr. Brian LaBombard and our team at Airport Dental Care stand ready to serve you. 

Call the office today or use our online booking tool to schedule your appointment.

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