Unlike a fine wine, your wisdom teeth do not get better with age. In fact, the longer you keep your wisdom teeth, you face a significantly greater risk of experiencing some sort of trouble caused by these third molars.
Many patients think that if the wisdom teeth aren’t causing them pain or other concerns, there’s no need to take them out. That’s definitely not the case. Even if wisdom teeth are not symptomatic, they still should be extracted by an experienced, dual-degreed oral surgeon while the patient is a young adult.
Because the wisdom teeth often are impacted, pockets can form in the tissues surrounding them. These pockets serve as a haven for bacteria and inflammation, which can adversely affect your overall health and other organs in your body. The pockets become more problematic as years go on.
Studies have shown that patients who have their wisdom teeth removed before age 25 consistently have a lower risk of developing infections or decay with other nearby teeth. As patients get older, wisdom teeth that are left in place are more likely to cause crowding and problems with the bite or jaw alignment. More developed (or older) wisdom teeth also have lengthy roots that may come into contact with nearby nerves, causing pain and discomfort.
The wisdom tooth extraction itself becomes more complicated in older patients, as well. In younger patients, the roots of wisdom teeth are not as well developed. Therefore, it’s easier to remove them from the jaw. As patients age, however, the teeth become more solidly anchored to the bone, and it may require a more invasive procedure for the oral surgeon to extract them.
Age can influence the patient’s course of recovery, as well. One study suggested that people older than 25 face a one-and-a-half times greater risk of post-operative complications than younger patients who have had their wisdom teeth removed.
It’s important to undergo this oral surgery sooner rather than later. Schedule an appointment to have your wisdom teeth removed in a convenient Chicago Loop location.