Whoever named wisdom teeth wise has a very sick sense of humor. Either all biological wisdom went out the window when they became part of our evolutionary code, or evolution itself is out to get you. Either way, if you still have your wisdom teeth, it’s time for them to go — the sooner the better.
As your Cincinnati dentist, we recommend getting your wisdom teeth removed in your early to mid-20s or you could end up experiencing serious tooth crown pain later in life. But how old is too old to get your wisdom teeth out? We get asked this all the time at our Sharonville family dental office. And the short answer is you’re never too old — just so long as you are not dead, yet.
It’s really comes down to whether or not it’s worth it. Many people get them removed at a young age. Some don’t, and a few are just lucky enough that wisdom teeth don’t cause much discomfort. (Some people are even lucky enough to not have wisdom teeth at all. Breed more. It’s a gift to humanity.)
Why You May Want Them Removed Even If They Don’t Hurt
So say you’re in the lucky crowd that’s never felt pain despite the fact you still have your wisdom teeth. Getting them removed might still be a good idea. Wisdom teeth can be tough to take care of. The teeth are typically at the very back of the adult molars located on the top right, top left, bottom right, and bottom left of the mouth. Even if your mouth is big enough to accommodate them all comfortably, getting a toothbrush back there can be difficult. This can lead to decay, which can create a cesspool of bacteria in your mouth that leads to all sorts of problems.
Sometimes, tumors can even form around your wisdom teeth — which can threaten the health of the surrounding teeth, not to mention your jawbone.
Removing wisdom teeth can also be beneficial to those suffering from heart disease, diabetes, and conditions that compromise your immune system. This is due to the increased risk of infection and gum disease because of decaying wisdom teeth.
Experiencing Wisdom Teeth Pain? We Can Always Remove Them at Any Age
We can always remove wisdom teeth no matter how old you are — especially if you are experiencing dental pain. Yes, it’s certainly easier to remove them when you’re younger, which is why we encourage it. In younger patients, the roots have not yet fully formed so the extraction is easier. But removing them is still a good idea if you are older.
Associated Risks of Removing Wisdom Teeth When Older
Though there are numerous benefits to having your wisdom teeth removed at any age, there are still some risks we want you to be aware of. You’ll likely need more time to recover — as much as a full week. And there is some risk of nerve damage to the lower lip.