Wisdom tooth extraction

Can Wisdom Tooth Extraction Change Teeth Alignment?

Wisdom teeth commonly appear between the ages of 17 and 25 years (although this can occur earlier or later in life). 

In some cases, these new teeth can cause crowding in the mouth resulting in teeth pushing against one another.

Wisdom teeth that become impacted due to a lack of space in the mouth are normally removed due to overcrowding.

However, can wisdom tooth extraction result in the misalignment of teeth or a change in your bite? 

There are a number of signs and symptoms of tooth misalignment:

  • Tenderness in the jaw especially when chewing or biting down.
  • A bite that does not to line up correctly.
  • Pressure, discomfort or pain on certain teeth due to overcrowding.
  • Pain in or around the ear.
  • Difficulty opening and closing the mouth.
  • A clicking or popping sound in the jaw while chewing or opening and closing the jaw.
  • Moderate to severe pain in the facial area.

Wisdom tooth extractions are performed in order to relieve these symptoms. 

If these symptoms are not present after healing fully from the procedure, this means the teeth have not shifted in the mouth. 

The extraction of wisdom teeth will not cause teeth to shift and therefore cannot cause misalignment.

Many patients do however report a change in their bite after wisdom tooth extraction. 

This is especially significant in patients where the wisdom teeth were extremely impacted and caused severe pressure on other teeth in the mouth.

Patients who have all 4 wisdom teeth removed may also experience this symptom.

The sensation caused by the change in your bite is not commonly attributed to a shift or change in the alignment of the teeth.

This may be due to any one of the following reasons:

Recovery Time

It is important to allow time for the full recovery of your mouth after wisdom tooth extraction. 

Swelling of the gums bruising, and discomfort caused by the procedure may feel as if the teeth have shifted. 

Full recovery generally takes about 2 weeks but is different from person to person. 

The teeth may also take time to settle after the pressure of the wisdom teeth has been eliminated which can take while longer.

Bite Force

Where teeth feel like they have experienced misalignment due to pressure from wisdom teeth, it is not uncommon for one or a couple of teeth to take the majority of the bite force. 

This basically means the teeth that are more prominent will do a majority of the work and will absorb a greater amount of the force exerted by the jaw when biting or chewing.

Once the wisdom teeth are removed, the pressure on these teeth is reduced and they will no longer absorb the brunt of the force when biting and chewing. 

In other words, the force is spread more evenly across all the teeth in the mouth. 

This can result in a very strange sensation as the teeth that are not normally used to doing any work are suddenly put to the test.

This can also result in the feeling that the teeth have shifted. 

Teeth may suddenly come together where they didn’t before or it could result in a small change in the bite. 

This does not mean that the teeth have shifted but rather that they need to settle into their new roles.

After a few weeks (or longer in some cases), the strange sensations should pass and you should adapt to your new pain-free and pressure-free bite.

With every surgical procedure, the benefits are weighed up against the risks. 

Wisdom teeth that are impacted and cause mild to extreme pain, discomfort or misalignment of your teeth is considered to be a necessary procedure. 

However, the removal of these teeth should not result in a change in alignment.

If you are looking for a compassionate, professional and experienced dental clinic for wisdom tooth extraction or other dental procedures and advice, please call us at Pinnacle Dental today on (03) 9052 4422. 

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