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Could you die if you don't remove wisdom teeth?

None of my fiance's wisdom teeth are impacted, but one of them is partially erupted, and he got some food caught between the tooth and gum, which led to an infection.  It was minor, according to his dentist (I asked if it could be life threatening and she laughed), and she said there was a very small abscess which went away. He took penicillin and did topical antimicrobial and he says he feels totally fine now. (he never had a fever or swollen lymph nodes- just some swelling at the gum).

He saw two dentists, both of whom told him he should get all his wisdom teeth out even though they're not impacted or decaying (they did x rays).  He doesn't want to remove the teeth and I don't want him to, because I've heard of people dying during that surgery.  But I'm also afraid he could die if he DOESN'T remove the teeth.

Everyone else seems to think this is not a life or death situation but I am very worried.  If he doesn't remove the teeth, could he die?  Or would he just be prone to food getting stuck back there again?  Could he prevent that from happening by being better with oral hygiene? (right now he never uses mouthwash)
3 Responses
1340994 tn?1374197577
Fear of death is not the reason for having wisdom teeth removed.  I have never heard of anyone dying from having wisdom teeth removed.  

I will send you an article by message so you can read the pros and cons of wisdom tooth removal.  It is not a black-and-white topic, although that seems to be the way you see it since you believe it is a life or death question.  
Avatar universal
I was a dental asst. Wisdom teeth themselves will not kill you, nor the surgery to remove them. a lot of times they are very hard to keep clean and will decay fast. It is very rare but it can cause problems especially when you talk about abscess. He is not in pain now due to the penicillin he took but it will return. If the teeth are fully erupted it would seem to be simple extractions, verses surgical extractions. Abscessed teeth can effect your heart, and if the swelling does go to the glands then you risk cellulitis which can be dangerous. I hope I have helped you.
Avatar universal
His dentist told him the infection was gone- how do you know it will return?  Do you just mean the same infection can happen again because of the structure of the teeth?

It was a gum infection too, not a tooth infection.  Not sure if that's relevant.
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