Although humans’ early ancestors likely made use of their third molars, also known as the wisdom teeth, in chewing their rough diet, the teeth are no longer useful for gnawing on modern-day cuisine, which is full of softer foods. In fact, the human jaw has evolved in a way that no longer accommodates the third molars. As a result, the wisdom teeth must be removed surgically from the jaw before their impacted state can lead to severe problems. Most oral surgeons recommend having the wisdom teeth removed before age 25.
When the wisdom teeth are impacted, they can lead to a host of problems, ranging from infection to pain to cysts. A delay in having your wisdom teeth removed may exacerbate these problems.
Beyond the symptoms that can result from impacted wisdom teeth, the removal procedure is also easier for younger patients. As a person ages, the wisdom teeth’s roots grow longer and become more entrenched in the jaw bone, making it a more difficult endeavor to remove them. Longer roots can also come into contact with nerves in the mouth, placing those older patients at increased risk for the possibility of nerve damage when a patient waits to have the wisdom teeth removed. The surrounding bone is also softer in younger patients, making the surgery easier, and older patients tend to take more time to heal following surgery.
If you keep your wisdom teeth beyond your early 20s, they’ll be more likely to develop decay and promote gum disease, according to well documented research. Wisdom teeth that are left in place invariably also damage surrounding teeth.
Wisdom teeth extraction is typically a straightforward oral surgery, so schedule an appointment with this experienced, dual-degreed oral surgeon in the Chicago Loop to have your wisdom teeth removed before the procedure becomes a complex one.