When it comes to the removal of wisdom teeth, it seems as though there is a specific set age that dentists recommend they be removed. While all people are different, the most important thing to remember about wisdom tooth removal is that they should be removed before they begin to cause issues with other surrounding teeth. This point in a person’s life can vary, so experts often recommend having wisdom teeth extracted by the age of 17 to avoid potential damage and discomfort.
Must Wisdom Teeth Be Removed By A Certain Age?
While there is no specific age that wisdom teeth removal must be extracted by, having your wisdom teeth extracted by a certain age can make the extraction surgery easier. Having wisdom teeth extracted at a young age is easier because the roots of these teeth are not fully developed. It is often recommended that your wisdom teeth be removed in the years of early adulthood because wisdom teeth develop and appear in your mouth between the ages of 17 and 25.
The way your wisdom teeth develop will be unique to you, so the growth of your wisdom teeth should be monitored by a dentist to determine if and when the molars should be removed not to cause damage to surrounding teeth.
Why They Should Be Extracted
For most, experiencing problems with your wisdom teeth is more of a “when” scenario rather than an “if” scenario. In most cases, wisdom teeth don’t have enough room to erupt, causing them to become impacted and painful. Wisdom teeth often don’t come in straight like other teeth and tend to lie on their side and press up against the tooth in front of it. If wisdom teeth come in improperly, this will cause crowding, improper bite alignment, and other problems.
It’s also necessary to note that patients who have undergone orthodontic treatment have a greater lack of space for wisdom teeth to come in, and they could destroy your straight smile and proper alignment if left untreated.
The Damages of Delaying Wisdom Tooth Removal
Your dentist will be the best person to help you evaluate when wisdom teeth should be removed as they can closely monitor their growth and progression through x-rays and bi-annual exams. It’s always best to have wisdom teeth removed before they begin to cause problems and complications.
Waiting to have your wisdom teeth removed could lead to:
Impacted Wisdom Teeth
The third molars at the back of the mouth won’t have enough room to emerge or develop normally. Impacted wisdom teeth can result in pain, damage to other teeth, and other dental problems. In some cases, impacted wisdom teeth may cause no apparent or immediate problems.
Because wisdom teeth are hard to reach with a toothbrush and challenging to clean, they may be more vulnerable to tooth decay and gum disease than other teeth.
When wisdom teeth erupt partially through the gum tissue, this site serves as a breeding ground for bacteria that can eventually turn into a painful infection.
Tumors or Cysts
Wisdom teeth can become so impacted that tumors and cysts can form around the third molars and can eventually lead to severe damage to your jawbone and your other teeth.
Signs of Problematic Third Molars
Because they’re located at the back of the mouth and are difficult to see or examine on your own, problematic wisdom teeth can be hard to notice. If you have been experiencing tooth pain or jaw pain, try to use a small flashlight to illuminate the back of your mouth and check for the following symptoms:
Gums that bleed easily
A lingering bad taste in the mouth
Persistent bad breath
Difficulty chewing or opening your mouth
Damage to adjacent teeth
Having Wisdom Teeth Removed as an Adult
If your wisdom teeth do not offer any significant complications, they can remain untouched. But if the wisdom teeth are indeed problematic, it’s always best to have them taken out. Visiting your dentist to be checked for signs that your wisdom teeth are starting to come through and then decide if it’s in your best interest to keep or extract them.
If you, or perhaps your child, are coming to the age where their wisdom teeth are developing, we recommend scheduling an evaluation appointment with Hinsdale Dentistry. A thorough evaluation will ensure wisdom teeth are surgically removed before they become a burden. Contact us today to schedule an exam.