If you’re over the age of 25, you might think it’s too late to get your wisdom teeth removed. After all, most extractions are performed between the ages of 18 and 24, so you might be worried that you’ll have to live with oral health issues the rest of your life.
However, there is a solution for you, no matter your age! In this article, we’ll talk about why we have wisdom teeth, why they might need to be removed, and whether there’s an age limit for extractions. Read on to learn more.
Why We Have Wisdom Teeth
You may be wondering, “Why do we have wisdom teeth in the first place?”
Early on in human history, man hadn’t yet invented fire. There were no forks or knives to help cut up food, and therefore, early human beings needed a way to chew the foods that they ate. Back then, people had wider jaws and the wisdom teeth that enabled them to tear apart their food grew in without issues.
As humankind and technology advanced, our foods became softer and less hearty, so our jaws didn’t need to be as powerful as they once were. As a result, our jaws narrowed, leading to issues when wisdom teeth grow in.
Why Wisdom Teeth Need to Be Removed
There are several reasons why wisdom teeth would need to be removed. As you start to reach adulthood, you may find that your wisdom teeth are starting to erupt, causing pain or pushing on other teeth in your mouth. This usually happens between the ages of 17 and 25. During this time, you could experience jaw pain, swelling, tender or bleeding gums.
Most of the time, these symptoms will resolve and subside on their own. If they don’t, it may be time for an extraction.
Here are some reasons why you may want to have your wisdom teeth removed:
- Fully impacted teeth. Sometimes your wisdom teeth become trapped between the second molars and the back of your jaw. If they don’t erupt through the gums at all, they’re fully impacted and trapped in your jaw.
- Partially impacted teeth. If the crown of your wisdom tooth makes it through the gums but the rest of your wisdom tooth doesn’t, it’s partially impacted.
When your teeth are fully or partially impacted, they usually try to grow in at an angle. Whether they’re moving toward the back of your jaw or your second molars, it’s likely that they’ll cause the following issues:
- Moved or damaged teeth. Impacted wisdom teeth can affect the alignment of your other teeth, even causing damage if there’s not enough room for them.
- Dental cysts. Although they’re not a big deal as long as they’re handled quickly, these dental cysts can case serious complications if they’re left untreated.
- Tooth decay. Cavities and tooth decay can occur, and if your teeth are already impacted, your dentist may remove the teeth.
- Gum disease. Untreated gum disease can lead to periodontitis, a severe form of gum disease. It’s also been linked to diabetes, heart disease and stroke.
Is There an Age Limit for Extractions?
It may surprise you to learn that there is no age limit for extractions. Although it’s recommended to have a wisdom tooth extraction between the ages of 18-24, the truth is that you’re never too old to have one, especially if it’s causing oral health issues for you. There are a lot of myths about extractions out there that simply aren’t true.
You don’t have to live with wisdom tooth pain – set up an appointment with Synergy today!