As a dentist in Glasgow we regularly see teenagers who are experiencing problems with their wisdom teeth but it’s still possible that adults up to their 50’s may require surgery to remove them.
What are wisdom teeth
Generally speaking most of us have 3 molars on either side of our upper and lower jaws, making a total of 12. The wisdom teeth are those molars at the very back of each set of 3 although it’s not uncommon for a person to be missing one or more of their wisdom teeth.
Why might I need my wisdom teeth removed?
Provided that your wisdom teeth are properly placed and not causing you any dental problems or pain then there’s no real need to remove them. If they’re causing crowding or are impacted, then it’s likely that your Glasgow dentist will recommend that they be extracted. In essence there are two ways that wisdom teeth grow and that is like a regular tooth or some may become impacted.
What is an impacted wisdom tooth?
In simple terms an impacted wisdom tooth is one that has been prevented from growing properly. Typically they remain beneath the gum and lie in a horizontal fashion instead of standing upright like a normal tooth, usually because there isn’t room for them to do so. Sometimes they may grow out sideways towards another tooth. Keeping a wisdom tooth in place like this is problematic because it becomes an area that attracts bacteria and is hard to clean. This in turn can lead to cavities and infection.
Sometimes wisdom teeth can interfere with the roots of your molars which can be very painful. In addition, while your wisdom tooth is trying to break through the gum it can wear down adjacent teeth leading to other dental issues. If you decide not to have your wisdom teeth removed then it’s very important to consistently floss around these back teeth and to use an antiseptic mouth wash.
When is it best to have wisdom teeth removed?
Generally it’s best to have wisdom teeth extracted between the ages of 16 and 22. Wisdom teeth develop in the jawbone like other teeth. The crown develops first and is pushed up through the gum once the root of the tooth has developed. In young adults, the root is still forming so there are less complications and risks associated with the removal of wisdom teeth.
Am I ever too old to have wisdom teeth removed?
It’s not uncommon for impacted wisdom teeth to start to cause problems in people when they’re in the age group of 30-50 but as a person gets older surgery becomes more difficult, recovery takes longer, and risks of complications increases.
Wisdom teeth are prone to cavities and often the adjacent teeth have to be extracted too, so if your dentist recommends surgery to extract your wisdom teeth then don’t put it off or you could end up losing 8 molars instead of 4.
If you’re worried about your wisdom teeth or any other teeth, then it’s important to seek the advice of a dental professional. Why not make an appointment with Dr. Colin Gardner at Botanics Dental Care. As your local dentist in Glasgow he and his team have years of specialist training between them. Call today on 0141 334 3408 or take a look at our website at www.botanicsdentalcare.co.uk for more information.