If your child has braces, you will most likely be encouraged by the orthodontist to schedule a wisdom teeth removal as soon as the braces are taken off, before the wisdom teeth grow in and disrupt the perfectly straightened new set of teeth. The mere suggestion that many months and thousands of dollars could all disappear because of emerging third molars will spur anyone into action.

But is this—the possibility of crooked teeth—the only danger of putting off wisdom teeth removal for a later date? No! In fact, there are 6 other key reasons why you should prioritize having your child’s wisdom teeth extracted during their teens or early twenties.

Here’s what might happen to those who wait:

  • Pain. It’s always best to take care of a dental issue before discomfort sets in. And due to the cozy nature of four extra teeth trying to squeeze in alongside the first 28, decay, infections, abscesses, and misalignment could quite possibly result. The sooner you have your child’s wisdom teeth removed, the less likely they will develop any of these culprits which often bring about jaw pain and swelling.
  • Gum Disease. The very back of your mouth where wisdom teeth are located is a breeding ground for bacteria. When food gets stuck in between the gums and wisdom teeth, decay caused by bacteria may be the first problem, but infection leads to gum disease, which is your second problem. Untreated gum disease can cause tooth loss. Removing wisdom teeth is a preventive measure to avoid infected gums and missing teeth.
  • High blood pressure, strokes, and heart attacks. Are you aware of the close connection between your oral health and your body? When you get an infection in your gums, the infection and its toxins enter your blood stream, directly affecting your blood vessels and potentially spiking your blood pressure. And worse? Strokes and heart attacks are conditions that can result from untreated infections.
  • Poor mouth function. Impacted or abscessed wisdom teeth cause the jaw to swell. Have you tried to open or close your mouth with a swollen jaw? It doesn’t work so well. And that means talking or eating are tricky too.
  • Cysts. When there’s a shortage of room, wisdom teeth often fail to fully erupt (push through the gums), and when this happens, cysts have the potential to develop. Cysts tend to destroy the jawbone and the roots of your teeth.
  •  Complicated extractions. The longer you wait, the deeper your wisdom teeth’s roots grow, which makes the procedure to remove them all the more difficult. The ideal time for most extractions is between 16-20, before the roots are firmly established.

When you have your wisdom teeth removed, you eliminate concern for the above problems. But if you choose to keep your wisdom teeth because they’ve come in nicely and have caused no harm so far, make sure to get regular cleanings so your dentist can keep an eye on them. Wisdom teeth are more susceptible to decay, due to their location in the back of your mouth, and can be a source of gum disease, spreading to the rest of your teeth.

If you are experiencing any issues with your wisdom teeth, contact us at our Tampa office today! 813-968-5400.