Patients with overcrowded, gapped, or misaligned teeth often wonder if their bite will straighten out after a wisdom tooth extraction.
The short answer is that it depends on the individual.
Most misalignments are due to the jaw being misaligned and not issues with the wisdom teeth. This does not mean it is impossible though! Some patients experience minor changes in their teeth alignment after the surgery, while others do not see any change at all. In most cases, teeth will only slightly shift post-extraction due to the natural healing process.
If you are concerned about how your teeth will look after the surgery, be sure to discuss it with your dentist beforehand.
Wisdom Tooth Extraction
The wisdom teeth are known as your third molars. There are typically four wisdom teeth that emerge between 17 and 25.
Emerging wisdom teeth can cause extra pressure on your surrounding teeth, leading to teeth misalignment, overlapping teeth, overcrowded teeth, other teeth to shift to make room for the wisdom teeth, and pain or discomfort.
Most dentists recommend wisdom teeth removal to avoid severe pain and prevent teeth from shifting out of alignment. If your wisdom teeth grow and you can see them, try your best to keep them clean by brushing regularly and using a mouth rinse with fluoride.
Wisdom tooth extraction addresses issues like:
- Bite misalignment
- Difficulty opening and closing the mouth
- Discomfort when chewing or biting down
- Overcrowding or pain and discomfort of impacted teeth
- Severe face, ear, or jaw pain
- A clicking or popping sound from jaw movement
- Inability to clean wisdom teeth properly, leading to tooth decay
Recovery After Having a Wisdom Tooth Removed
Getting wisdom teeth removed is a surgical procedure that may cause discomfort afterward.
You may experience some swelling around the gum line, making you feel like you may have had some teeth shift after your wisdom tooth extraction. The swelling and your bite should go back to normal over time, but investing in some ice packs to use on the affected area can help reduce the initial discomfort and swelling. Your dentist may also recommend taking over-the-counter medication to help reduce the pain.
Allow yourself plenty of time to let your mouth heal from all the pressure your wisdom teeth caused. The recovery period after a wisdom tooth removal is different for everyone – some patients may need a week or two for recovery time, while others need up to four weeks.
Can wisdom tooth removal cause misalignments?
Most misalignments in adult teeth are not due to your wisdom teeth at all. Typically a jaw misalignment is the cause of this and can be corrected. However, wisdom teeth can cause overcrowding, which can cause healthy teeth to shift, pain and swelling of the jaw gums, and other dental issues. What are the different types of misalignments?
Types of Misalignments
Most misalignments listed below are due to misalignment of the jaw, which can be corrected by an orthodontic treatment rather than wisdom extraction.
Overbite and Underbite
An overbite is caused when the top teeth protrude over the bottom teeth. An underbite is vice versa (the bottom teeth protrude the top teeth). These misalignments are mainly due to the misalignment of the jaw and can cause issues with your bite force and chewing. A wisdom tooth extraction won’t fix an overbite or underbite.
A crossbite occurs when the teeth are misaligned to the left or right of the mouth. This type of misalignment can also cause issues with chewing and is usually caused by the jawline’s misalignment. Having your wisdom teeth extracted will most likely not fix a crossbite.
Gaps and Spaces
If you had gaps and spaces before the impacted wisdom tooth caused pressure on your other teeth, those gaps or spaces should remain in the same spots after a wisdom tooth extraction. Once the wisdom teeth are removed, your teeth may shift back to where they once were and straighten teeth out again.
An open bite occurs when the top and bottom teeth don’t touch, even when the mouth is closed. This is also a jaw alignment issue and not due to wisdom teeth.
Overlapping or Crooked Teeth
Emerging wisdom teeth can cause overcrowding in the mouth. Overcrowding is where teeth shift, and overlapping can occur. When your mouth runs out of space, causing pressure in your mouth, your teeth may appear crooked, or you may have some mild pain.
After a wisdom tooth extraction, your other teeth will have room to shift back to their original placement due to reduced pressure. In this instance, a wisdom tooth removal could assist in straightening your teeth.
If you have a severe case of misalignment, your dentist may recommend having your wisdom teeth extracted to see if it alleviates any of the existing dental issues. If you don’t have any dental problems, your dentist will likely recommend orthodontic treatment to correct the misalignment. Make sure to speak to a dental professional about what option is best for you and your needs.
Getting Wisdom Teeth Removed
Wisdom teeth extractions are becoming more and more common as people realize the benefits of having them removed. Your dentist can help you determine whether or not an extraction is the best solution for you and provide you with a treatment plan that will get you feeling better in no time. If you’re experiencing pain, discomfort, or any other issues that may be related to your wisdom teeth, don’t hesitate to contact your dentist.
Contact our reliable dentist, Michael Nugent, DDS, if you are concerned about your wisdom teeth and need dental services. We are located in the Houston, TX area, and our dental team wants to help your family maintain healthy teeth for years to come.
If you are experiencing issues with your wisdom teeth, our dentists can help provide relief and knowledge on wisdom teeth removal. Our office provides family, cosmetic, restorative, and sedation dentistry options.
Give our team a call today at 713-941-8261 and see how we can help!