The worst possible thing that could happen to you as a result of wisdom teeth removal will shock the daylights out of you.

“The worst possible outcome of wisdom tooth removal is death,” says Guy M. Hanson, DDS, MBA, MAGD, Academy of General Dentistry.

Death by Wisdom Teeth Removal

If you’re facing an upcoming procedure to extract your wisdom teeth, do not panic, as you are more likely to be in a fatal car accident on the way to the procedure than you are to die from the procedure.

Furthermore, not having impacted or partially erupted wisdom teeth removed can lead to bacterial infections, gum tissue damage, bone tissue damage, and/or a bad bite alignment.

A bad bite alignment can then lead to pain when chewing or opening the mouth.

So if you’ve been told you need your wisdom teeth removed, it’s best that you make the appointment.

But in all fairness, the correct answer to the question of worst possible scenario of wisdom teeth removal is a fatal complication.

However, this ultimate complication is not a direct cause of wisdom teeth extraction.

In other words, there’s nothing inherent, from a mechanical perspective, about having these non-productive teeth removed that causes the body to shut down and expire.

“Although exceedingly rare, a bad reaction to medications, usually sedation medications, may cause death,” says Dr. Hanson. This would be considered an adverse drug reaction.

Dr. Hanson adds, “Extraction of a severely infected tooth may spread the infection to the brain and/or the heart and cause death in susceptible individuals.”

So don’t delay having the procedure if you’ve been advised to.

“The most common negative outcome of wisdom tooth removal is a dry socket which is an infection of the bone,” says Dr. Hanson.

With all that said, it sounds a lot scarier than it actually is.

Follow post-removal instructions to a T, and chances are mighty high that everything will go just fine.

Dr. Hanson retired in 2014 after practicing dentistry for 35 years at the former Idaho Dental Wellness Center.

Lorra Garrick has been covering medical, fitness and cybersecurity topics for many years, having written thousands of articles for print magazines and websites, including as a ghostwriter. She’s also a former ACE-certified personal trainer.  
Top image: Shutterstock/ Damir Khabirov