As we grow older, our teeth begin to change, fall out, get replaced with new teeth, get cavities and more. Wisdom teeth pop through in the very back of your mouth and some individuals can experience pain and many problems because of their wisdom teeth.
Knowing when and if you will need your wisdom teeth removed can depend on the space in your mouth, whether they are impacted and how they grow in. We have gathered some information to help you know when you should remove them and how it can impact you later in life.
More About Wisdom Teeth
The meaning behind the name wisdom teeth can give you some clues as to when they may appear and when you should have them removed. They were given their name because they usually appear at a more mature age. Some wisdom teeth come in at different times for different people, but most adults get them from the ages of 17 to 21.
Some adults get anywhere from 1-4 wisdom teeth in the back corners of your mouth. On a very rare occasion some may have extra wisdom teeth above the normal 4, if this is the case, it is more important to get them removed in a timely manner. Because each person and each mouth is different, consulting with your dentist is the best way to determine how your wisdom teeth are growing in and when they will need to be removed.
What Age Is Best?
Because the teeth can start to come in between age 17 and into your 20’s it is hard to pinpoint one age or time to have them removed. If your wisdom teeth do not get removed during your early adult years, they could cause you problems later in life. Keeping the teeth in your mouth for longer may cause jaw problems, are susceptible to cavities, or may even become infected.
You can get them removed later on in your adult years if they start to bother you, but the recovery time might take longer. Removing wisdom teeth too early may also cause a longer recovery time, because the tooth may still be located under the gum. Choosing an age to remove your wisdom teeth is not as important and assessing if you need them removed. Some common reasons to start considering extraction can be:
- Damage to neighboring teeth
- Gum disease
- Tooth decay
- Unable to clean
- Complications with orthodontic treatment
Can It Wait?
Some patients experience no issues with their wisdom teeth and have plenty of room for them to grow in. Other people never get them. It is possible to extract just one tooth that is causing issues in your mouth or all four may be removed at one time, especially if you are being put to sleep for the procedure.
Waiting too long to have your wisdom teeth removed can cause cysts to burst, infection to spread or your teeth to die. Once you think your wisdom teeth have started to come in, talk to your dentist at each visit about what may be best. The teeth can be monitored and only removed if completely necessary.
If you are planning to leave the country for an extended period of time, serve a humanitarian mission or moving to a place where you don’t know if you will have dental coverage, it is best to just have the teeth removed and avoid any complications.
Wisdom Teeth Removal
Wisdom teeth extraction is considered oral surgery and usually requires sedation, anesthesia, numbing agents, pain, and intense after care. Wisdom teeth that are impacted can be hard to remove and cause the dentist to need to cut into your gums. Some patients may even need stitches after removing the teeth. Talking to your dentist will help you to know how long it will take you to recover.
The after care of removal is essential. Keeping the holes clean and free of food particles helps prevent infection and helps to heal faster. Proper brushing can help keep your mouth clean and prevent bacteria from spreading. It is also important not to irritate the surgical site, so you will need to eat soft foods and lots of liquids.
Gunnell Family Dentistry
Our family dentistry provides many services for patients of all ages. We provide family and emergency dentistry, implants, cosmetic dentistry and more. To view more of what we offer you can visit our website.
Getting wisdom teeth removed is not the only service that you should visit your dentist for. Regular exams, teeth whitening, and smile makeovers are other dental services that can help protect your oral health. Visit our website for more testimonials and to learn about our two dentists.