Wisdom teeth can be valuable for an effective bite when healthy and properly aligned, but unfortunately, they often pose problems, leading to the need for removal. The decision to remove wisdom teeth involves various factors, including age, dental health, and potential complications. Let’s explore the right age to consider wisdom teeth removal and the reasons behind this common dental procedure.
An Overview of Wisdom Teeth
Wisdom teeth, also known as the third molars, are at the very rear of the oral cavity. These teeth represent the final set of molars to develop in the mouth, erupting between late adolescence and early adulthood.
The third set of molars could be a vestige of our human ancestors’ coarser diet, which likely comprised less tender meat than what we’re accustomed to today, hence the need for this additional set of grinding teeth. Wisdom teeth are the strongest and broadest type of teeth, but interestingly, not every adult has wisdom teeth because of recent changes in diet and evolution.
In many cases, wisdom teeth can be impacted or fail to fully emerge from the gum line because of lack of space. Impacted wisdom teeth can cause infection, pain, damage, and other issues to surrounding teeth.
Why Is Thera A Need for Wisdom Teeth Removal?
Wisdom teeth removal is often necessary, for various reasons. The indications for removal include:
- Impaction: Impacted wisdom teeth can cause pain, swelling, and infection. Removing them can prevent these complications.
- Overcrowding: Wisdom teeth may cause overcrowding, shifting the alignment of existing teeth. This problem can impact your bite and overall dental health.
- Infection: Impacted wisdom teeth can create pockets where bacteria can accumulate, causing infections and the development of cysts.
- Decay: Generally, wisdom teeth can be difficult to clean properly because they’re at the back of the mouth, increasing the risk of decay.
- Pain: Even if not impacted, wisdom teeth can cause pain and discomfort as they emerge.
How Old Should You Be When You Get Your Wisdom Teeth Removed?
Individuals across various age groups may require wisdom teeth extraction if the teeth pose any issues. Generally, the prime age for such a procedure typically lies between 17 and 25 years.
It’s possible to safely remove wisdom teeth once their roots have grown to roughly two-thirds of their total size, which may occur earlier or later than 18, varying from person to person. By this age, the development trajectory of wisdom teeth is usually clear.
The age of 25 is the upper limit recommendation, beyond which the fully developed roots render the extraction process more intricate.
What Happens If You Postpone the Removal?
Delaying the removal of problematic wisdom teeth can lead to several complications. One of the primary issues is the increased risk of damage to the surrounding teeth, including decay and gum disease, due to difficulties in cleaning.
Impacted wisdom teeth, if not removed timely, can also eventually lead to the formation of cysts or tumors around the tooth, leading to potential damage to the jawbone and other teeth. Besides, the longer impacted wisdom teeth stay, the harder the teeth roots become, making the extraction process more complex and potentially painful.
The risk of post-surgical complications also increases with age, including longer healing times and a heightened risk of nerve damage.
Is Wisdom Tooth Removal Always Necessary?
Wisdom tooth removal is common, but it is not always vital. Removal may not be a requirement if the teeth are healthy, properly aligned, and do not cause any issues. Regular dental check-ups can help monitor your wisdom teeth development and assess whether they pose any risks to oral health.
What Happens If You Don’t Remove Your Wisdom Teeth?
If you need to remove your wisdom teeth but choose not to, you may experience ongoing discomfort and pain in the affected area. If you do not have any issues with your wisdom teeth, leaving them in place may not cause significant harm.
See an Oral Surgeon at Green Valley Oral Surgery
If you are experiencing symptoms or considering wisdom teeth removal, consult an oral surgeon. The experts at Green Valley Oral Surgery can provide personalized guidance and ensure a smooth and effective removal process. Never hesitate to seek professional advice to maintain optimal oral health and prevent potential complications. Schedule a consultation with Green Valley Oral Surgery today!