How old are you? That is often one of the first things you should be asked when you are seeking wisdom teeth removal. Why? It is common for wisdom teeth to become problematic between the ages of 15 and 25, and it is also the optimal age for having them removed.
Why? Interestingly enough, the roots of wisdom teeth are not fully developed at this time of life, and the density of the jawbone is not as extreme either. This makes it far easier to pull an adult tooth, plus it ensures that healing will be easier too. This is not to say that people over the age of 30 cannot develop issues and need wisdom teeth removal, nor is it any indication that they will definitely experience complications. It is simply that you may want to consider booking a visit with your dental professional to discuss wisdom teeth removal before you leave your 20s.
It is widely accepted that very few people over the age of 30 tend to develop any significant dental problems that lead to the need for wisdom teeth removal, but it does happen. So, the best plan is to be proactive and to discuss the matter before you note any signs of trouble.
Such as? The primary reasons that wisdom teeth removal is required include:
- Overcrowding of teeth that leads to misalignment of the bite;
- Impaction of a tooth that becomes stuck and which leads to swollen gums and damaged teeth;
- Gum disease or decay that occurs when a wisdom tooth is only partially erupted and is tough to clean; and
- Swollen and constantly irritated gums from a wisdom tooth that cannot erupt through the gum tissue.
Though it may sound like these problems may be easily resolved without removing the teeth, such is not the case.
For instance, when you allow tightly packed teeth to remain in place, they are going to continually shift over the long term. This is because the pressures are not allowing the problematic tooth to fully descend, and this means a very long and drawn out process during which time the teeth constantly move and shift in an effort to make room.
As this happens, they can grind together and become damaged, or remain so close that you cannot clean them properly. This can lead to serious decay and even cause abscesses to form under the gum line.
Additionally, when a tooth is only partially erupted in the tiny space at the back of the mouth it can become nearly impossible to prevent decay from setting in. This is because you cannot reach the areas beneath the gum (which tends to remain somewhat swollen and irritated all of the time) and this causes major problems.
So, if you are wondering if you can somehow avoid getting wisdom teeth removal due to age or other issues, you have to consider the consequences of leaving those teeth in place. They can lead to some truly problematic and ongoing concerns. You may find that your mouth is always sore and tender, you are constantly fighting decay, and that your bite is heading out of alignment – leading to such things as TMJ or chronic headaches.
The best thing to do is to discuss your wisdom teeth with your dental expert while you are under the age of 30. Even if you are older than that, you need to take action if your wisdom teeth have suddenly started to cause problems and give you any discomfort.
Dr. Jack Smith is a renowned oral care expert, author and researcher. He is the cofounder of WisdomTeethRemoval.com, a website providing comprehensive, unbiased information on Wisdom Teeth Removal. You can find more articles from Jack on the wisdom teeth removal blog…he is a top contributor there.