Ah, wisdom teeth—the late bloomers of the dental world. For many teenagers, the prospect of having these third molars removed can seem daunting. Some might even consider putting it off or skipping the procedure altogether. However, failing to remove your wisdom teeth as a teen can lead to many potential problems and complications later in life.
Impaction and Crowding
Wisdom teeth, also known as third molars, usually emerge between the ages of 17-21. By this time, the other teeth in your mouth have already established their positions. When there isn’t enough space for the wisdom teeth to come in properly, they can become impacted, meaning they cannot fully erupt from the gums. This can lead to severe pain, swelling, and even infection.
Furthermore, impacted wisdom teeth can push against your other teeth, causing crowding. This can lead to misalignment and the need for orthodontic treatment to correct your bite.
Infections and Abscesses
Partially erupted wisdom teeth create pockets in the gums that are difficult to clean thoroughly. These pockets can become breeding grounds for bacteria, leading to infections and abscesses. Wisdom tooth infections can cause pain, swelling, and even systemic health issues if left untreated. In severe cases, these infections may require hospitalization and intravenous antibiotics.
Cysts are fluid-filled sacs that can develop around impacted wisdom teeth. Over time, these cysts can cause damage to the jawbone, neighboring teeth, and nerves. Removing a cyst and treating the associated complications can be more complex and costly than extracting the wisdom teeth early on.
Wisdom teeth can be challenging to clean properly due to their location at the back of the mouth. Poor oral hygiene around these teeth can lead to gum inflammation and periodontal disease. Gum disease can result in gum recession, bone loss, and even tooth loss, affecting your overall oral health.
Wisdom teeth-related issues can cause persistent or recurrent pain and discomfort. These can negatively impact your quality of life, making eating, speaking, or engaging in daily activities difficult.
Costly and Complicated Procedures
Delaying the removal of impacted wisdom teeth can lead to more complex surgical procedures in the future. These procedures often come with higher costs and increased risks compared to extracting them when you’re younger.
While removing your wisdom teeth as a teen or in your early twenties may not be the most appealing prospect, it is a proactive step to safeguard your oral health and overall well-being. Failing to address wisdom teeth issues promptly can lead to many complications, including impaction, infections, cysts, gum disease, chronic pain, and costly procedures.
At the Center for Oral Surgery and Dental Implants, we routinely remove wisdom teeth for patients of all ages. We encourage teens and young adults to consider having their wisdom teeth removed now rather than later to avoid expensive, painful complications and more extensive surgery. Dr. Valiente offers wisdom teeth removal using the most advanced techniques for quick recovery and excellent results.
If you or your child are considering wisdom teeth removal, please get in touch with our office at Center for Oral Surgery and Dental Implants Phone Number (813) 968-5400 to schedule an evaluation.